ARChon Runtime Allows You To Run Any Android App On Chrome Or Any Other OS

Google last week announced the availability of four Android apps on Chrome OS as the result of a projected called App Runtime for Chrome (beta). That was pretty exciting, but what if you could run more than just four Android apps on Chrome OS? And what if you could run them on other operating systems as well? A developer by the name of "Vladikoff" had that same thought, so he went and built a runtime called ARChon (App Runtime for Chrome) that allows Android to spread its wings.

The initial release of ARChon was hamstrung by several limitations, such as limited apps support and only working on Chrome OS. However, Vladikoff has been hard at work tweaking his runtime, and the latest version now allows you to run any Android app on Windows, Mac, and Linux, in addition to Chrome OS.

Android on Ubuntu
Image Source: Vladikoff

ARChon can be sideloaded just by dragging the file onto Chrome, which should then allow you to run Android apps on virtually any platform via the desktop version of Chrome 37 or later. One potential roadblock is that ARChon doesn't run Android app packages (APKs), which instead need to be converted into a Chrome extension, though that's a simple affair with another of Vladikiff's tools called "chromeos-apk."

The folks at ArsTechnica tested out the ARChon runtime on Mac OS X, noting that it's "definitely impressive" though also prone to crash. A lot. Since there aren't any Google Services running in the background, Android apps that require them -- such as Twitter -- have a tough time staying open.

Nevertheless, this is a giant step in the right direction. Vladikoff continues to tweak ARChon, and it will be interesting to see what the new few releases bring to the table. In the meantime, you can check out the current release here.