Vlad Filippov

Vlad Filippov

software engineer / web dev / open source hacker

Running Android apps in Chrome using the ARChon runtime


I got really excited after Google announced that Android apps will now run on Chromebooks. My main goal was to figure out how it exactly worked, so after ARC (App Runtime for Chrome) Beta was released I started exploring the runtime architecture.

By manipulating the application manifest keys I was able to swap the executables and run other applications (beyond those that were approved into the Chrome Web Store).

This is how the chromeos-apk tool was born. You can find it herehttps://github.com/vladikoff/chromeos-apk. OMGChrome also wrote an article on it here:http://www.omgchrome.com/new-hack-install-android-app-chromebook/

You can view the video demo of running custom apps below:

ARChon is born!

The chromeos-apk tool worked really well, but it was limited because apps only worked on Chrome OS and it was only possible to run 4 applications at the same time. This is where the ARChon runtime came into play.

This custom runtime allows users to run their favourite Android applications (if supported by ARC) on OS X, Linux and Windows. It is done by sideloading the ARChon runtime via Chrome’s extension developer mode.

See more up to date information regarding ARChon here: https://archon-runtime.github.io/

OMGChrome and LinuxInsider wrote 2 greate articles about this:

In the meantime I am keeping the ARChon runtime up to date with latest release of ARC. The GitHub organization has the latest details on the state of the project:https://github.com/archon-runtime. If you have any questions about how ARC, ARChon or chromeos-apk work then let me know!

Here are some other links that will help you run Android applications in Chrome:

Software / Utilities

See the archon-runtime.github.io for latest updates to ARChon and other software related to it.