Arc Welder
Arc Welder

Google has released a tool that lets Android apps run on any machine that can run its Chrome browser.
Called Arc Welder, the tool acts as a wrapper around Android apps so they can run on Windows, OSX and Linux machines.
The software expands the places that Android apps can run and might make it easier for developers to get code working on different machines.

Arc – the App Runtime for Chrome – was first released in late 2014 as a way for Android apps to run on machines running Google’s Chrome operating system. The OS is used on many netbooks and other small machines made by Google and some of its hardware partners.

Google has produced a new tool, called Arc Welder, which converts Android apps into versions that can be used with the Chrome browser, not just the OS. With Welder it has also added support for many Google Play services so when apps are converted they do not lose access to payment systems, maps and other functions they expect.

In its developer documentation, Google said the underlying technology for Arc Welder meant converted apps should run almost as quickly as they did on a phone or tablet.
With Arc Welder Google, it is seeking a way to help developers get their creations onto as many machines as possible, though one developer was not sure it would accomplish that aim.

 

Install the ARC Welder Extension
Chrome App Launcher - Arc WelderFirst go to the Chrome Web Store and download ARC Welder.
The app is 11.83MB in size and runs just like any other Chrome app, and you can open it via the Chrome App Launcher after it’s done installing.
After you open it up, you should see a screen asking you for a .apk file. You should see a Material-y designed “Plus” sign button labeled as “Add your APK”.

Download an app
Next, you need to find an app that you’d like to run in your Chrome browser. You can obtain a .apk app file a variety of ways, though the most common would probably be through a third-party APK file host such as APKMirror.com or a service like apk-dl.com.
Once you have your .apk app file downloaded to your computer, click the button shown above, navigate to the file on your computer, and click “Open.”
Once you have done this, you should see a screen, labeled “Test your App”.

BBC One on Mobdro
BBC One with Mobdro, using Arc Welder on Windows 7

Configure how you want the app to run
The next step is to configure how you’d like your app to run. As you can see above, you can choose between “Portrait” and “Landscape” modes, and you can choose whether you’d like the app to run as if it were running in “Tablet” mode or “Phone” mode (and there’s another option to maximize the window, as well).
Finally, you can either grant or deny clipboard access. This is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s definitely useful if you’re a developer testing your app and you need to make sure it looks great no matter how it runs.

Launch the app
Developers: If you’re a developer, it’s worth noting that this is also where you’ll have the opportunity to download a ZIP file of your app. You can upload your ZIP file to the Chrome Web Store, and Google has laid out some comprehensive guidelines for those that wish to do so. If you’re not a developer, carry on.

The last step in this process is actually launching the app. Once you have configured your settings to your liking, click the “Launch App” button. You should now see the app open in a new window and that window should actually use the app icon as its own icon (in the dock if you’re on a Mac, or the Taskbar in Windows).

REMEMBER: Google Chrome must be installed along with Chrome App Launcher, then just install Arc Welder.

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By Expat