How to Run Android Apps on Mac, Linux and Windows

Run and install Android apps on Mac, Linux or Windows computers through ARChon , a modified version of Google’s App Runtime for Chrome. Google recently gave Chrome OS the ability to run Android apps with no porting required through “App Runtime for Chrome” (ARC). While the release came with a lot of limitations, a developer named Vladikoff, figured out how to run any Android app using Chrome OS through chromeos-apk.

Run Android apps in Mac, Windows and Linux through ARChon

Vladikoff developed ARChon, which lets you run unlimited number of Android apks on Chrome OS and any desktop platform that supports Chrome. Chrome OS works for Windows, Mac and Linux and thus you can finally run and install Android apps on those platforms.

You can see in the video below what it looks like running Android apps on Chrome.

[iframe 600 388]

ARChon depends on ARC, which is built using Google’s Native Client. The Native Client allows Chrome to run native codes safely within an Internet browser.

The install process is complicated, and takes a bit of work. You need to enable “developer mode” on Chrome and install unpacked extensions. You also need to modify Android apk files to load them into Chrome. On the top of that, you must have Chrome 37 or higher installed.

Guide on How to Run Android Apps in Chrome Browser Using ARChon

Download ARChon from


Download and install the utility chromeos-apk:

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

In Chrome web browser, enable developer mode in by checking “Developer Chrome” in chrome://extensions and load the contents of uncompressed directory “vladikoff-archon-44bc9ba24037” through the button “Load unpacked extension” button.

chrome enable developer mode

To install Android-application load the apk file and extract its utility chromeos-apk with option “–archon“:

chromeos-apk --archon

Next, load the contents of a directory created by “Load unpacked extension” in chrome:// extensions.

For full instructions on how to run apps on other operating systems besides Chrome OS, you can view the ARChon Custom Runtime Guide.

At its current state, not all Android apps work using this method. There are apps that need other framework and components which can’t run on chromeos-apk. The community of Chromeapks from Reddit has been building a list of working apps each with download links to the modified app files.

While the “hack” is buggy, it does works. You may even use it to run multiple Android apps.

This shows a potential future for Google where Android can be turned to a universal runtime that works from Android mobile phones, tablets, Chrome OS devices, and on any desktop computer with Chrome browser installed.