After launching the first Android apps on Chrome late in 2014, Google is now making the feature available to all developers.
Google’s App Runtime for Chrome (ARC) can now be used by anyone to get Android apps up and running on Chrome, whether that’s the Chrome browser or Chrome OS. To do so, you’ll need the ARC Welder app from the Chrome Web Store. You then load your Android APK into the ARC Welder and choose the app’s orientation, form, factor, and clipboard access. Google recommends your orientation be set at Landscape and your form factor at either Tablet or Maximized. Google also suggests that you make sure your app plays nicely with touch and non-touch hardware.
You can also enabled Google Play services on your Android app for Chrome, but not all services work yet since ARC is still in beta. Some of the Google Play services APIs that do work include Auth, Google+ sign-in, Maps, Locaiton, and Ads.
Once you’re done testing, you can download the ZIP file of your working ARC app and then upload that ZIP to the Chrome Web Store. While not every Android app is going to work well on Chrome since they’re designed for phones and tablets, having ARC Welder available to all means that many devs could easily expand their user base by making their Android app available to Chrome users. And hey, I’m sure that Chrome users will appreciate having more apps readily available.
Editorial Director of News and Content for PhoneDog Media. Fluent in whisk(e)y, video games and phones. Can be followed on Twitter at