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Android Chrome Software

Android Apps Now Unofficially Able To Run On Any Major Desktop OS 101

An anonymous reader writes A developer who goes by the handle Vladikoff has tweaked Google's App Runtime for Chrome (ARC) to allow any Android app to run on any major desktop operating system, not just the handful announced last week which were also limited to Chrome OS. His tweaked version of ARC is re-packaged as ARChon. The install isn't very straightforward, and you have to be in developer mode on Chrome. But there's a support forum on reddit. The extension will work on any OS running the desktop version of Chrome 37 and up as long as the user also installs chromeos-apk, which converts raw Android app packages (APKs) to a Chrome extension. Ars Technica reports that apps run this way are buggy, fast, and crash often but expresses optimism for when Google officially "opens the floodgates on the Play Store, putting 1.3 million Android apps onto nearly every platform."
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Android Apps Now Unofficially Able To Run On Any Major Desktop OS

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  • But.... WHY? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Why would I want that ad-laden, spyware infested, functionally crippled crap on my desktop?

    • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Saturday September 20, 2014 @04:46AM (#47952689) Homepage Journal

      We keep telling you. Over and over again.

      STOP USING WINDOWS!

      But do you listen?

      OH NOOOOO!

      • by Chryana ( 708485 )

        Why? Why should I stop using Windows? I've used a few distributions of Linux before over a span of years as my desktop OS. I still run it in VMs, yet I still run Windows for the most part. I could tell you why, but since you're not exactly making a compelling counter-argument against it, I'm not going to waste my breath. Furthermore, the GP is right: Google has decided not to put privacy controls into Android, because it goes against their business model, so even the most trivial flashlight application is a

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm not sure where Google is going with this stuff, but it's a bad idea.

    On one hand, you have the NDK where your standard Android flavoured Java isn't fast enough on handheld hardware. This stuff will not run under ARC, because it's compiled to target the host processor (MIPS/ARM/whatever) architecture. Then you've got the Chrome runtime, which is capable of running Android/Java apps really fast on a modern day computer. Probably fast enough that the NDK isn't required in some cases, but this too is bad bec

    • They're trying to leverage the Android market to make Chrome OS more appealing. They don't want this hack running on 3rd party operating systems.
      • by keneng ( 1211114 )

        ChromeOS is not appealing to me as a GNOME GNU/Linux user. Android/Linux is not appealing to me either.

        Google is tricky to introduce something NEW/FRESH: "Try Google's tiny-bit better OS ChromeOS". DON'T BE FOOLED!
        ChromeOS like AndroidOS/Windows/AppleOSX is compromising or constraining. Google is misdirecting users to abandon the full-blown GNU/Linux alternatives; Google is doing their best to limit users' digital freedoms by convincing them to use new brand names they have market control over: Chro

        • You can just install it yourself (it's not a secret you can install Linux on chromebooks). It's not like chrome os can't run Linux. If the average user can't figure this out, they probably shouldn't be using Linux in the first place. They should stick to something easier like, well, chrome os.
    • The IT market is based on incompatibility so fragmentation helps. Google, unofficially, can't care less, they are winning against apple, they basically have the mobile equivalent of windows plus crippleware.
      Luckily the free software movement helps against this abomination, but the battle will be everlasting.

    • Yeah, and the NDK also has a target called "x86", and the OS can tell what platform it's running on. How do you think NDK apps are presently being distributed on the Play store? Not sure what your point is.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 20, 2014 @04:34AM (#47952661)

    If this technology matures to the point that it's stable on every desktop OS, then the OS is reduced is reduced to simply being a platform for the chrome browser to run on to run Android Apps. That means

    1. Developers gear their software to run on Android since that's where all the software and market is.
    2. Microsoft becomes irrelevant as the things consumers want are the Android Apps, not the OS.

    I don't think that means Microsoft will die completely, but I do think it means they become just another small player as there is no longer any vendor lock-in to their platform.

    • Sure. Let me know when there is a Photoshop app. Let me know when apps are optimized for desktop display sizes and not a 5" phone.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BitZtream ( 692029 )

      Hardly.

      If this technology matures to the point that it's stable on every desktop OS, then the OS is reduced is reduced to simply being a platform for the chrome browser to run on to run Android Apps. That means

      That means instead of the apps being written for the Win32/MFC/.NET runtime, they are written for the Android runtime ... how is that any different? Please explain how its different other than you're a fanboy for Chrome/Android rather than Microsoft.

      1. Developers gear their software to run on Android since that's where all the software and market is.

      Right, except no its not. If you want ad-ladened crap, Android is where its at. The 'market' is everywhere else. There may be a lot of apps there, but that doesn't mean anyone cares, which the stats have shown by the number of apps with exactly no dow

      • Come on, Android can change the layout of widgets, as well as the logic behind them, on everything from phones to HD TVs.

        Just grab the "settings" app and see the difference in layout between a phone and a tablet. On the phone, selecting an item brings up an overlay screen of options for that selection. On a tablet, the selection list is displayed on the left, the options on the right.

        You can make arbitrarily complex layouts to accommodate different needs on different displays. Same as Windows.

    • by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Saturday September 20, 2014 @09:36AM (#47953309) Homepage Journal

      If this technology matures to the point that it's stable on every desktop OS, then the OS is reduced is reduced to simply being a platform

      Java did that years ago. Notice how it destroyed Microsoft?

      • yes....but did Java have all of the millions of apps that were indexed by a single entity, and more importantly made it easy for anybody to access and use?
        • yes....but did Java have all of the millions of apps that were indexed by a single entity, and more importantly made it easy for anybody to access and use?

          Neither does Android. Oh, there are millions of apps, but most of them are completely uninteresting on a desktop or laptop and the rest won't run well. Oh, there will be apps, over time, but there's no huge number already available, developers are going to have to start more or less from scratch.

          The index is new-ish, yes, but I still don't think it's going to provoke the sort of sea change the GGP supposes. If that were all it took, the Chrome store would already be doing it (there's also an index of apps

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If this technology matures to the point that it's stable on every desktop OS, then the OS is reduced is reduced to simply being a platform for the chrome browser to run on to run Android Apps. That means

      1. Developers gear their software to run on Android since that's where all the software and market is. 2. Microsoft becomes irrelevant as the things consumers want are the Android Apps, not the OS.

      I don't think that means Microsoft will die completely, but I do think it means they become just another small player as there is no longer any vendor lock-in to their platform.

      And since Android apps are basically Java, we are back at what we thought we were finally getting rid of -- running Java apps on Windows, Mac and Linux.

  • by Kkloe ( 2751395 )
    I have been running andy-android-emulator just so I can have clients like instagram in my desktop instead of having to pull up my phone, if they make this stable enough then one can skip the emulator altogether. I can see the drawback for devs as people will expect the apps to function as good with keyboard and mouse in the future and will have to redo their apps/add that functionality.
  • Something. Something. Year of the Linux desktop.

  • by rjejr ( 921275 ) on Saturday September 20, 2014 @11:00AM (#47953691)
    So I can finally play Candy Crush on my PC ;-) Kidding aside, I wouldnt mind Angry Birds Epic on my PC, and wouldnt this make loads more money for companies like Gung Ho who were raking it in w/ Puzzle and Dragons and now can code once but have everyone with a PC spending money on their games? Seems like win-win to me, IF IF IF it works properly.
    • by ihtoit ( 3393327 )

      you bring up a very good point, actually. People generally are moving away from the classic beige box and leg cooker, to keyboardless tablets and mobiles. That's cool, technology moves on, etc. But the most common question I hear asked in a bricks-n-mortar store from people shopping around for the latest greatest iWank is "Can I get Facebook on this?". That's it. They want their computer for nothing more than uploading pictures of their dinner, "playing" the dullest "games" I have ever seen in my life, and

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You can already do this using Bluestacks. It's alot better than that terrible emulator that comes with the sdk.

  • Now, if it were iOS apps..THEN it would be news. There's a million different options already for running android apps on a desktop.. OK not a million, but plenty. But still not a single one for iOS apps..

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