Google has now released the App Runtime for Chrome (ARC) to allow Android apps to run on any Windows, OS X or Linux device running the company’s Chrome browser. It is still in early development stages, but you can now test your own developed apps or run your favourite apps on Chrome.
The company made the installation process fairly simple. First, users will need to visit the Chrome Web Store and download the ARC Welder app. Next, is to grab some Android Application Package (APK) files from the Google Play Store or trusted external sources. Before launching the app, users will have to select whether to run the app in portrait or landscape mode, and in phone or tablet style. Multiple apps can be loaded by choosing the download ZIP option within the app, then extracting it to enable extension developer mode and load the extracted folder.
In terms of compatibility, ARC is based on Android KitKat 4.4 so a lot of apps are already compatible with the platform. Some apps worked really well during initial testing like Twitter and Flipboard. However, several games like Crossy Road and Zig Zag could not even load.
On a side note, Microsoft is working on Windows Apps for Windows 10 that synchronise across all devices. Google is trying to counter this initiative by pitting up its Android platform to allows users to run Android apps on one of the most popular internet browser, Google Chrome. Not to mention, this move also allows developers to test their apps on a multitude of platforms, from phones and tablets to PCs and Macs. This means we might see more Android apps available on the Chrome Web Store in the near future.
Those interested can visit the ARC Welder site to get started on running Android apps on Chrome.