Getting started with Google’s ARC Welder

Google recently released an ARC Welder Chrome app, which allows the user to run Android applications on Chrome OS or the Chrome web browser.

As of now, you can’t directly install applications from the Google Play Store on your Chrome browser. You need an Android application package or APK, or an Android application that has been stored in a ZIP file.

In order to run an APK file, you must first download the file from a repository on the Internet. Once downloaded, you can load it in ARC Welder and if it runs, test it out.

There’s no guarantee all (or any) of the apps you try will work or that they’ll be usable, but for developers who want to create Android apps that also run in Chrome OS and the Chrome browser, it’s useful for testing purposes.

For the rest of us, it’s just fun to play around and see how it works.

Let’s learn how to install the ARC Welder on your system

You will locate the ARC Welder on your Chrome web store. Install the app to get started.

ARC Welder

Once you have installed the ARC Welder, you must add it into your Chrome apps.

ARC Welder App

Once the ARC Welder app is added, you will have to find some APKs to run. There are a lot of places from where you can download APK files.

When you’ve found some, open Chrome and then start ARC Welder.

When you first run it, you’ll need to select a directory the APK can be written to. Click “Choose” and then either select an existing location or create a new one.

Next, you must load your first APK. Click “Add your APK” to begin.

Navigate to the folder where you saved your APK files and select one. Now you’ll be shown quite a few options, like how you want the orientation, any metadata you want to add, etc.

Now go ahead and click on Launch app. There is a high possibility that many of the APKs you tried to load won’t work.

If you load an Android app in Chrome, it will be available to load directly as a Chrome app from thereon. No need to load it through ARC Welder. You can, however, only test one Android app at a time. The next time you load an APK from ARC Welder, it will remove the previous app.

Nevertheless, it’s interesting to be able to load Android apps, not simply on Chrome OS, which seems a more natural fit, but on Windows, OS X, or any other system with the Chrome browser on it.