Running Android apps on your PC

#Normal People

Oh i heard about this, bluetacks, blueticks or something like that right? Yeah you probably heard about BlueStacks. Credits to them for being the first one to bring Android apps on PC to the masses. But their software is really a memory hog. Do you really want to run the program all the time in the background? And its not only the icon you see in the taskbar, their software also needs services in the background to run. It’s quite heavy on older PC’s.

There is an extension for Chrome to run Android apps on your PC. It’s called the ARC Welder.

Getting Started with ARC.

The App Runtime for Chrome (Beta), or ARC, lets you run your favorite Android apps on Chrome.

To run Android app, you need three things:

1. An APK file. for example:
2. A PC, Mac, Linux, or Chromebook on Chrome Version 41+.
3. The ARC Welder app.

The rest is really easy, open ARC Welder, attach your APK, and select your options. Click Launch App and you are go!


When testing your APK on ARC, developers have passed along these helpful tips:

  • Use Tablet or Maximized for your form factor and Landscape for your orientation.
  • Be sure your app works well for touch and non-touch Chromebooks.
  • If you need to check if your app is running on Chrome OS, look for chromium as the android.os.Build.BRAND and android.os.Build.MANUFACTURER.
  • Getting logs:
    • On a PC, you can get logs from your app by running'adbd') in the JavaScript console (chrome://inspect/#apps) and then running either adb logcat or adb pull /data/data/package_name/path/to/your/log.txt from the Android SDK tools.
    • On a Chromebook, where adb isn’t available right now, run either'logcat') or'cat /data/data/package_name/path/to/your/log.txt') directly in the JavaScript console (chrome://inspect/#apps).
    • If the app crashes and you can’t get logs using logcat, try collecting stdout and stderr from Chrome/NaCl. On Chrome OS, you can get these logs from chrome://system/ and expanding ui_log.
    • Javascript console logs sometimes contain relevant information. There are two contexts, the background page (chrome://extensions, enable Developer Mode, select app_main.html for your app), and the app window (chrome://inspect/#apps).
  • To enable Google Play services, read more.
  • Since ARC is in Beta, it doesn’t support all of Google Play Services yet. However, here are some available APIs:
  • To ensure compatibility with all users, package and test your app on the Chromebook Stable channel.
  • To use in-app payments, read more.

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