Android apps are the best. The only thing cooler than having them run on your phone is if you could somehow bring them to your desktop. Well, you can. Using Chrome and Google’s App Runtime for Chrome (ARC for short), developers were given the ability to port their Android apps by having them run as a Chrome app. Initially there were only 4 apps available (Duolingo, Evernote, Sight Words, and Vine), and only for Chrome OS users, although a “hack” was later discovered.
But now, Google’s new Chrome app — ARC Welder — gives developers and ordinary folk the ability to test and just play around with Android apps straight from the Chrome web browser. Set up is easy, just download the ARC Welder Chrome app and once launched, select the zip file or APK of your application you want to run. From there, you can decide if you’d like the app to run in portrait or landscape mode, tablet or phone mode, and a few other parameters.
Once you launch the app, you’ll have a mostly functional Android app running on your desktop with little fuss. Not every app plays nice with ARC, so your mileage may vary. We were able to test our own Phandroid app amongst a few others. If you guys have luck with anything else, feel free to drop a comment below. For more detailed instructions, check out the official “Getting Started with ARC” page here.
Download from Chrome Web Store: ARC Welder