As a tech savvy who hop across computers everyday, I’ve come to fancy softwares that are platform agnostic. Hence suggesting various handy softwares to my friends and clients is like a daily routine. While looking for some stuffs online, I stumbled upon a tool that lets users run Android on Chrome. For a beginner, this idea may sound insane, but it actually exists and can save you from the hassles of using Android emulators such as BlueStacks to run Android apps on PC. We are talking about Google’s Arc Welder, a developer tool that lets you run Android apps within chrome on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX.
Google’s ARC Welder (App Runtime for Chrome) is squarely aimed at developers, but it also serves an extension that allows users to easily run Android apps on Chrome. Using Arc Welder is pretty darn simple, as the process involves packaging any Android app you have on your phone into a zip file and load it into the Google Arc Welder app. So if you’re ready to experience Android on Chrome, then here’s how to use Google’s Arc Welder to run Android apps on Chrome.
Install ARC Welder
ARC Welder is platform agnostic, although designed for Chrome OS, the tool brings support for other desktop operating system including Windows 10, Linux and Mac OSX. So to get this one going, simply head over to Chrome app store and install ARC Welder. Once the installation process is complete, then you can move into the next stage of finding some APKs and launching Arc Welder through Chrome app launcher.
Find Some Android APKs
When you open ARC Welder for the first time, you’ll be asked to add your APK. This APK files are package we normally install on our Android phone directly from Play Store. Unfortunately, ARC Welder doesn’t bring support for that. So you’ll need to find third-party websites with true legality and integrity to do so. For now, we recommend ApkMirror since it has a nice interface and brings tons of virus-free Android apps alongside their older version. Once you have downloaded some APKs, you can then open ARC Welder from Chrome app launcher.
Run the APKs in ARC Welder
Next up, the Arc Welder program will start. Simply click on “Add your APK” and select any of the APK files you downloaded from the Windows explorer that’ll pop-up. Once the APK is loaded, you can then setup the app’s orientation, form factor and clipboard access depending on your preference. Once you are through with the Settings, go ahead and click on the “Launch App” button to test the app.
Do note that if you try to run multiple Android apps at the same time within ARC Welder, you’ll get a “Confirm Removal” message. This is because ARC Welder can only run one app or game at a time. So before you open a new app, you will need to remove the app that is currently in use within ARC Welder. Fortunately, we found a trick to run multiple Android apps on Chrome using Arc Welder.
Run Multiple Android Apps on Chrome With ARC Welder
The steps to running multiple Android apps on chrome using ARC Welder is pretty much simple. So to begin with, once you’ve had an APK added, you will need to click on the “Download ZIP” button instead of “Launch App”. Now locate the zip file containing the APKs you downloaded, then extract it. Next up, open Chrome and jump into Settings > Extensions and enable the ‘Developer mode’ at the top. Now click on the “load unpacked extension” button and select the folder you just extracted, then click OK.
Android Apps and Games Tested on Chrome With ARC Welder
Having used the Google’s ARC Welder for quite some time now, we decided to run a few decent Android apps and games on it and most of them (not all) work pretty fine. The first app we tested on Chrome with ARC Welder is HoloCalc, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram and they seem to work super good. Snapchat and Tinder didn’t work due to the Google play Servicices that’s missing. We also tried Firefox, Gmail etc. but the result wasn’t positive.
On the aspect of running Android games on Chrome using ARC Welder, we where able to get some franchise like Hill Climb Racing and Angry Birds to work, while other games loaded to a black screen. This however shouldn’t be a surprise as ARC Welder isn’t built to handle complex 3D workloads. So that’s it, experiencing Android on Chrome can be pretty simple with ARC Welder. So go ahead and run Android apps on Chrome.