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Install and Run Android Apps on Chrome Book

Google is combining its popular mobile OS android and upcoming cloud OS Chrome OS into one. It is the next approach of unifying Operating Systems irrespective of form factor. Whether it is a smartphone or a chromebook or a laptop all the apps will run on all the platforms. Efforts are put to port android apps to chromebook.

The first apps include language-learning app Duolingo, online notebook app Evernote, short-form video app Vine, and Sight Words, an app for helping children learn to read.

Each of the apps was developed using a new tool called Android Runtime for Chrome (ARC) and each is available from the Chrome Web Store. Although Google is still working with developers to bring select apps to the Chrome Web Store for now. That’ll probably help ensure that you don’t end up trying to load apps that don’t work well on devices that may not have a touchscreen.

Developer vladikoff has posted code and instruction on github. Here are the step to execute a android app on your chrome os or ubuntu.


Step 1.

Install a sample Android app from the Chrome Store to get the runtime. Test out that app, make sure it runs on your hardware.

For Next step you need a linux computer (If Ubuntu run on a chrome os then that is better)

Step 2: (Need a Linux (Ubuntu) )

If you are running  Ubuntu or an ubuntu derivative you may need to install lib32stdc++6)

sudo apt-get install lib32stdc++6

Install NodeJs and npm on ubuntu

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chris-lea/node.js
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nodejs

Step 3:

Install the tool called chromeos-apk into the system

sudo npm install chromeos-apk -g

Step 4:

Grab the apk of the desired Android App (Use AirDroid app to connect the android device to Linux PC and download the apk from the web Interface of AirDroid into the device. Copy it into the Linux Computer)

Then Run the command below.

chromeos-apk /path/to/apk/myapk.apk

This command will create directory for the app in the home directory of your Linux machine, Simply copy that directory to your Chromebook.

Step 5:

Enable Developer mode in chromebook. To do this go chrome


enable “Developer mode”, and load the directory using the “Load unpacked extension” button.   You can also use Chrome Apps and Extensions Developer tool to load unpacked apps.

Tested Apps with Chromeos-apk

  • Flipboard – Works
  • Flixster – Works
  • Twitter – Works in tablet and phone mode
  • Pandora – Works [Screenshot]
  • Yahoo Screens, Weather and Mail work in Phone mode (might need to remove gcm from usePlayServices in manifest.json).
  • Soundcloud – Works, crashes when playing sound
  • Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Spotify – Crashes (require native libraries)
  • Opera Mini – works, issues with the back button
  • Gyro Game – Works
  • Break Bricks Game – Works
  • Swing Copters – Crashes on Google Play Services
  • WhatsApp – Crashes
  • IMDB – Works
  • Skype com.skype.raider – Works, requires you to enter the package name manually in the CLI, use com.skype.raider. Use an older version of APK 5.0.0.x to get this to work.
  • XBMC – Crash after initial load.
  • Microsoft Remote Desktop – App seems to work properly after crashing once.

via reddit

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