Most android apps can be run on a desktop computer via an android emulator and Bluestacks is one of these android emulators which makes it extremely easy to run android apps and games on Windows, Linux or Mac OS.
Apart from Bluestacks there are many other android emulators which can be used to run android apps and games on a desktop, however none of them are as good as Bluestacks. Unfortunately Bluestacks in not compatible with certain antiviruses such as Bitdefender and if you use Bitdefender then you can’t install Bluestacks on your computer.
Fortunately you can use some of the other android emulators to run android apps and games on your desktop PC. But did you know that you can even run android apps and games on the Google chrome web browser? yes thats possible.
Google has plans for bringing android emulator to Chrome on most operating systems, but this will take a while. However with the help of ARchon, a runtime environment for Chrome, you can now run android apps and games on Google Chrome.
Now that you know Google Chrome can run android apps and games with the help of the Archon runtime environment. Let me show you how you can install the Archon runtime environment on Google Chrome and run Android apps and games.
Since the Archon environment is still in the development stages, it can’t run all the android apps and games available from the Google Play Store. The Archon runtime environment is tested to be working on OS X, Windows 64-bit and Ubuntu. You need to have Chrome version 37 and above installed and if it doesn’t work, you can try it on the Chrome canary build.
Warning: The custom runtime will replace the official runtime component. To go back to the official runtime you will need to uninstall the custom one and reinstall the official one.
What you will need?
First of all you will need to download the ARchon runtime environment and then the apk files for the android app and game you want to run on Chrome. You can download the ARchon runtime environment from this link provided below and extract the content to your desktop.
As chrome cannot load apk files directly, you will have to tweak them in order to run on chrome. There is an unofficial android app called Chrome APK Packager which can be used to convert android apps and games installed on your phone to chrome install able apk files. However not all apps and games converted by this process may work on chrome so you can download pre compiled android apps for Chrome from this Google docs spreadsheet. At the moment there are around 140+ apps and games listed in this thread.
once you’ve downloaded an app or game from the spreadsheet, extract it your desktop.
Here’s how you can install the ARchon runtime on Google Chrome browser and run android apps and games.
How to run Android apps and games on Google Chrome
- Step 1: Go to Settings > Tools > Extensions
- Step 2: Enable Developer mode.
- Step 3: Click on Load unpacked extension and select the ARchon runtime extension folder. You will see the following screen with a few warnings but its alright to see them.
- Step 4: Click on Load unpacked extension again and select the android app or game file.
- Step 5: Once the app or game appears in the extensions, click on launch and the game or app should start.
That’s it, you’ve successfully run an android app on Google chrome.
For the latest developments on this topic you can head over to the ChromeApks Reddit thread.