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You Can Now Run Android Apps on Chrome for Windows, Mac and Linux

android apps on linux

ARChon allows Android Apps to run on Windows, Mac & Linux

Google may need to take their time in bringing select Android apps to the Chrome Web Store — needing to ensure compatibly, stability, and an integrated experience — but the community has no such speed bumps standing in its way.

Having made a command-line tool able to package up virtually any Android application to run on Chrome OS through the Android Runtime extension (with varying degrees of success), developer Vlad Filippov has now gone one better: it’s now possible to run Android apps on Chrome on Windows, Mac and Linux. 

Yes, you read that right: Filippov has found a way to run Androids app on desktop PCs through Chrome.

It requires installing a custom version of the Android Runtime extension, called ARChon. This supports both desktop Chrome and Chrome OS, and also allows for an unlimited number of Android APKs packaged by the chromeos-apk tool.

Your milage may vary, of course. 

As with the “v1” hack, getting Android apps running on Chrome requires some manual effort, technical acumen and familiarity with your system’s command line prompt. APKs packaged up also need to be installed (“unpacked”, in Chrome-speak) manually.

ARChon also replaces the official extension provided by Google. If you find it too unstable you’ll need to uninstall it and reinstall the blessed one from the Web Store.

But, faff or no faff, it’s an exciting, if shaky, first step towards a cross-platform ideal many have longed for. You can keep track of which APKs have been tested in the Chrome-apk subreddit.

The GitHub project page offers a full walkthrough of how to get it up and running. If you can’t quite follow the steps provided feel free to ask questions in the comments below.

Read the ARChon guide on GitHub

  • infektedpc


  • Badreddine Moon

    A New Era !

  • Ryan Hellyer

    Holy schmoly. That’s awesome!

  • Phil Oakley

    Would be great to have a GUI interface for this, so you could file browse for an apk then just run it with no command line interference at all.

    But this is so so cool.

  • JusticeL

    This is the push needed for people to try Chrome OS and Chromebooks. It’s a very exciting time.

  • Fantastic. I hope someone makes this into a packaged Chrome app so one can install Android apps directly from the Chromebook!

  • Hector F.

    And Chromium for Linux? Or just Chrome?

    • Sonorat

      It works ;)

    • vladikoff

      Better luck with Chrome.

  • Akshay Sharma

    Nice. But I would love it more on chrome os .

    • vladikoff

      All this works on Chrome OS as well.

    • JPB

      It IS on ChromeOS. It was there first… the article, please.

      • Dante Cantal

        Even just the second sentence lol

    • ShaunTheSheep

      And it would be even better if you could run Android apps on Chrome os. I wonder if anyone is working on that?

  • This is awesome news! Great article :-)

  • Daehyun Kim

    The only problem is that its Unofficial .. so it may come with problems and not safe .. and its not backed up by Google.

  • Sean C

    After installing the ARchon extension and the 2048 app from the GitHub, click launch, it only shows an android logo. Windows, tried Canary too

  • badman07

    thats great with chrome but few moinths back i heard a release bout firfox to run android apps

    • That article discusses Firefox for Android, not Firefox running Android apps.

      • badman07

        yeah i got it a bit wrong .. i totally agree with you

  • Gabrys

    Unfortunately both Google Chrome and Chromium claim they can’t do WebGL on my computer. And it seems like every app I tried to convert requires WebGL :-(. Too bad. I’ve been waiting for this for so long… (Flipping the flag in chrome://flags or launching with the ignore GPU blacklist option doesn’t help either).

    • juliosueiras

      you could try ./google-chrome-unstable –enable-webgl –in-process-webgl through terminal (that work for me)

  • Phaelin

    Give it a couple of weeks and we’ll have an automated version.

    • ore

      still waiting

  • Great, will try.

  • Prakash Chowdary

    im getting manifest not loaded error while playing on my windows pc with archon….
    any solution please help me

  • Basilio Gonzalez

    So basically, how do you do this on Windows…?

  • Tornike Shavidze

    It’s a great! But there are some other problems… After running some major android apps on chrome, I get message “unfortunately google play has stopped”… How can we fix this problem?

  • Currently commenting from the OMG! Chrome! app for Android on my Chromebook.

  • ScionicSpectre

    So, what if we could run this on the Android version of Chrome? :D

    • Paolo Bergamaschi III

      so that we could install the android version of chrome ;) #chromeception

  • Jonatan Mathisen

    Tried it out with the “ch.arnab.simplelauncher”. works like a charm with some apps. Cant wait for this to work fully with chrome:) Without all the clunckyness of getting it to work^^

  • Smallwheels

    There are many Android Aps that I want on my computer. I really hope Google ramps up this project and gets their own program to run Android apps. I want the ones I like to be safe, not infected with malware.

    A month or two ago I downloaded a couple of new extensions and apps from the Google Store for the Chromium browser. One of them planted ad ware on my machine. Whenever an image was detected that was of a product for sale, a new image window with links would pop over the image I was viewing. I disabled it but wonder if it will return.

  • einfolive

    That’s really great…read here how you can install this….

  • badman07 watch the steps how to open apps in chrome

  • einfolive

    Now you can restore your IPHONE BACK TO IOS 8…As IOS 8.0.1 has some issues…

  • HarryMyhre

    this is like a glimpse of the future! Users like to have choices and this is all about users doing what they want. Not what reviewers want.

  • Nick Gustoff

    Will this not work if I’m on beta channel?

  • Eduardo Campos

    When this become easier to do I wil try it.

  • Major Sceptic

    There are some nice apps on android that would be very cool on the pc, hope this can be made an easy permanent option sooner rather than later.

  • Bruce Scherzinger

    I run Android apps in an Android OS environment running in a VirtualBox VM configured for Linux 2.6. Works like a champ and shields your PC from anything bad. Here’s a video that shows you how ( ) and here’s where you can get what you need ( ). Running them in Chrome may be a good way to do it as long as I am running Chrome anyway, which I don’t always do.

  • Muzammil

    Its Dosen’t Work FOr Me When I Start My App Is Auto Closed Please Fix My Problem

  • Pfiks

    This is super cool! So many apps worked!! I love this. Now I can throw all those VirtualBox emulators and the like out the window :) Big props to everyone who were involved in this.

  • gerald bernard Dean

    look i am trying to get showbox to run can ARChon help this apk and Clash of clans for hp chromebook