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Google launches ARC Welder, a platform to run Android apps across Windows, Mac and linux

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Last year, Google released its ARC project which allowed a subset of developers to run Android mobile apps on desktop PCs – provided they used the Chrome web browser to do so.

Marching ahead with that initiative, Google today introduced ARC Welder, a new Chrome app packager allowing anybody to run said Android apps on a variety of desktop platforms: Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Chrome OS. When running on Chrome OS, the ARC app “thinks” that it’s running on an Android tablet or phone. But the ARC layer simply intercepts a call to an Android notification, for example, and replaces it with the corresponding Chrome OS command.

Josh Woodward, a product manager at Google, said-

Basically, we created the project to fill in some of the app gap, which has always been sort of the ding on Chromebooks. As more and more Android tablets have come into the market, there have been many more nice, full-screen-sized apps. So we thought—this is kind of crazy—what if we could run an unmodified APK file, an Android app, on Chrome OS?

Interestingly, ARC runs on Android 4.4 and not Android 5.0 Lollipop. Google has also integrated Google play services to its ARC package, which is quite essential for certain applications to function normally. Despite of this addition, few of the apps will crash or not function because of missing specific play services.


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