How to Run Android Apps on Any Computer

The number of apps developed for Android is well over a million. That’s a lot of apps. Fortunately, you can experience Android on any platform that supports Chrome (almost all).

chromeandroid

How to Run Your First App:

Step 1: Install or update Chrome browser to the latest version. Chrome allows the apps to run as “extensions.”

Step 2: Install an extension from Google called ARC Welder. This app can turn Android Apps (.apk files) into chrome extensions.

Step 3: Download an app. It is as simple as searching “appname apk”. For example, Tumblr.

These apps work: Tumblr, Puffin Browser, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon, Duolingo, Wattpad

These apps don’t work: Google Apps (Google +, YouTube, etc.) and Facebook Apps (Facebook, Messenger), Spotify

Step 4: Copy and paste this link into Chrome, and then hit enable on the highlighted one that says Native Client: chrome://flags/#enable-nacl

Step 5: Open App Welder. It will ask where you want it to save, just choose wherever is most convenient. Then it will ask for the apk file. Choose it and wait.

Step 6: Choose how you want to view your app. I like Landscape Fullscreen, personally. You don’t have to change any settings other than the top two. Then hit download zip NOT test. (If you did, it would be fine, you would just have to go back and hit test.)

Step 7: Unzip the file’s contents (should be 5 things) into a folder. Then navigate to: chrome://extensions/

Step 8: Click pack extension, and the folder containing the five items you unzipped. Then hit pack extension.

Step 9: You can delete the .pem file. Then, drag your .crx file onto the chrome://extensions/ page and wait for a pop up and hit add app. It will only work if you are on the extensions page.

Tumblr Extension

Step 10: Done! Hit the app in the launcher to try it out and see if it works. (Apps are in chrome://apps in Mac and Windows and under the search pop up in ChromeOS)

Tumblr App On Chrome (Fullscreen)

 

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16 thoughts on “How to Run Android Apps on Any Computer

  1. Oh Cool, thanks . I followed the steps and was able to get the Instagram Icon in Chrome app launcher, which is good given that I was struggling with it for past 3-4 days . However I am running it on windows 7 so it did not work after that. I thought I would give it try on win7 ( even tough this is for chrome os) because I saw some video where people were to able to run IG/ARC on mac and windows.

    Did you ever try this on windows ?

    On Chromebook, can you upload pics to IG from your local Chrome OS directory ?

    Thanks
    z

    1. Actually it should run on any computer that supports the latest version of Chrome. I have run some apps on Windows 7 (Enterprise, though I don’t think that should affect it) and they worked. Since Instagram is designed for phones I had to set the vertical phone option. On Chromebook I am able to upload and use camera, but it should work everywhere. Make sure you are running Chrome 47 (latest). Is Instagram not running at all?

    1. Uninstall the ARC runtime from Github (it’s most likely the older version), remove ARC Welder and all ARC dependent apps, check the extensions page again to make sure it’s gone (you will need Developer Mode enabled), then reinstall ARC welder, and check the version. (47 is my runtime version)

      Then download and unzip this and load Instagram (link below) through the “Load Unpacked Extension” button. You will need Developer mode to be checked.

      http://lk.to/instaunpacked

      The downside with this is that you will have to reload the app each time you open Chrome, and it doesn’t save your data. It still works the same.

      If this doesn’t work, then I am not sure what it is. Sorry. ): Hope I could help a bit.

  2. Hey,
    So I switched from windows to Mac and was finally able to get to IG screen !
    Unfortunately though, on Logon , IG asks you to upgrade to latest version and would not let you go beyond that screen.

    I was trying to find a safe & trusted site that lets you download Android app without any malware.
    Which site do you generally use ?

    Have you heard of Twerk extension , can that be used to unpack ?

    Thank you.

  3. I have used ak4fun in past, just tried 7.10.0 from http://www.apk4fun.com/apps/com.instagram.android/
    … IG was not happy , it was looking for more current version.

    Looks like 7.13.0 might be the latest version according to these guys
    http://www.androidapksfree.com/apk/instagram-apk-latest-version-download/

    But I am hesitant to download from that site as I have not used them before.
    Do you think they are safe ? any other source to download ?
    thanks

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