Freelance developer finds a way to run Android apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs
Following last week’s Google update in which they announced that users will be able to run Android apps on Chrome OS through “App Runtime for Chrome,” a skilled tech expert managed to break a set of app limitations. Going by the code name of “Vladikoff”, the developer in question found a way to load any app on Chrome OS instead of the just four that were officially supported, as an arstechnica.com article reports. Further more, he managed to run Android apps on any operating system with Chrome installed. The hack itself is based on App Runtime for Chrome, also known as ARC, designed with Native Client – “a Google project that allows Chrome to run native code safely within a web browser.”
The main reason why desktop versions of Chrome are incompatible with ARC is due to the fact that they do not have granted access within the ARC Web Store, but there’s a catch to this and “Vladikoff” recognized it. He built a custom version of ARC, which he calls ARChon, and found a way to overcome system limitations. Apparently, the custom made ARC can be “sideloaded simply by dragging the file onto Chrome.” Upon doing this, users should be able to enjoy full Android app support for desktop versions of Chrome 37 of higher. The compatibility issue of these Android apps has been resolved by converting the app packages into Chrome extensions using a tool, “chromeos-apk”, as the hacker entitled it.
All processes are performed through Chrome’s extension APIs, while Chrome’s runtime, the ARChon, and all the apps are extensions. The install process seems to be somewhat tricky, but the developer provides all the instructions you need on Reddit. After some testing done by Arstechnica experts, the hack seems to have some bugs and other compatibility issues that need to be addressed, but overall it works very fast and well. Most likely these issues will be mended, and users will have a nice and practical alternative on their hands. It may very well be the case that in the future we will see a universal Android running on any device with Google Chrome.