Google’s latest changes to ARC, or App runtime for Chrome, allow it to run on multiple operating systems, rather than just the Chromebooks it was initially designed for. It’s now able to work on systems running Windows, OS X, and Linux, in addition to Chrome OS. After its installation ARC lets users access Android apps on the non-Android device by downloading its Android Application Package (APK) from Google Play.
Not all apps will work with ARC but, due to it being based on Android 4.4, it’s able to run a large amount of the standalone apps (those which don’t require external devices or systems, such as the OS, to run) available from the store. The program can also be configured to work with certain Google Play Services, like Google + and cloud messaging.
However, while many apps will work on ARC, very few have been optimized yet meaning they’re still designed to be controlled with taps and swipes instead of mice and keyboards. It seems that simpler control systems seem to translate better and a few developers have already taken measures to design features around the format, although the software is still in beta so it will likely be some time before the phenomenon is commonplace. Despite that, and the fact that it can only run one APK at a time, the newest updates to ARC provide an easy and consistent way to use Android apps on other systems.ARC is simple to set up with a quick download from Google’s Chrome website, which you can find here.