Google has released a new tool that enables users to run Android apps on any desktop PC or MAC that runs the Google Chrome web browser.
After a beta version of the tool was launched in September last year, which enabled Android apps to run on the Chrome OS, Google is making its App Runtime for Chrome (ARC) available on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
Although the ARC is mainly designed to be used by app developers, it does mean that pretty anyone can run Android apps from their desktop computer or laptop.
Google has said that due to the development of ARC, users should find that any Android apps used on their desktop should work just as quickly as they would on an Android smartphone or tablet.
However, Ars Technica tested out a few different applications and found that many of them didn’t work as intended, the reason being that, unsurprisingly, mobile apps are designed specifically for use on tablets and smartphones. We did our own test in the office with some basic popular games we play on Android – CandyCrush and TwoDots – and both of these seemed to work fine, but for larger, more complex apps, you may encounter problems.
If you want to try running some Android apps on your own desktop, you will need to download the ARC Welder Chrome extension from the Google Play Store as well as the corresponding APK file to the Android app you want to run, which could perhaps be a little tricky for some Android users. However, you can find out more on downloading Android APK files from the Google Play Store here.
Despite being in its early stages and primarily being aimed at developers, the ARC project does offer up lots of possibilities and is a sign that Google is looking to shift Android’s dominance on mobile to the desktop market which remains dominated by Microsoft.
Jonathan is our Google Nexus and Android enthusiast. He is also fanatical about football which makes it all the more strange that he should support Stockport County. In addition to writing about tech, Jonathan has a passion for fitness and nutrition and has previously written for one the UK’s leading watch and horology websites.