Google has been working hard to integrate its Chrome and Android ecosystems and as a result of the continuous efforts, Google has developed the Arc welder extension for Chrome for desktops. With the help of the Arc welder extension, Chrome users can now install and run android apps on Windows, Linux, Mac and Chrome OS via the browser itself.
The project was initially launched back in September with the release of the limited App Runtime for Chrome (ARC). The ARC runtime was primarily made for developers, but since it’s available for download to the public, anyone can download it and use it to run Android apps and games on Google Chrome.
For those who want to run android apps on Google chrome, here’s how you can use the ARC Welder extension to run android apps on Google Chrome.
How to Run Android Apps on Chrome for Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome OS
- Step 1: Install the ARC welder extension in Google Chrome from the download link provided at the bottom of this page.
Note: If you do not have any ARC Apps, installing ARC Welder will automatically download and install ARC, a large one time download ( 120MB ).
- Step 2: Once installed, the app will appear in the Chrome app launcher. Which should be there in the Windows taskbar or the Mac dock.
- Step 3: Run the ARC welder extension from the chrome app launcher.
- Step 4: Create a folder for ARC welder.
- Step 5: Click on Add an Apk and select the an apk file.
- Step 6: Select the orientation, form factor and finally click on Launch App.
There you go, your app should now be running in a window based on the orientation and form factor selected.
Since ARC is based upon Android 4.4, a lot of standalone apps work without any hiccups. With my trial of the ARC welder extension, i found out that most android games work well, however apps and games that require access to camera, accelerometer and other unavailable cell phone hardware throw up errors. Also many android apps are also not yet optimized for ARC, so they are definitely not going to work with ARC.