In September2014, Google launched the App Runtime for Chrome (ARC), the project allowed Android apps to run on Chrome OS.
After few days, a hack revealed the project’s full potential by enabling ARC on every desktop version of Chrome, this hack meant that you could unofficially run Android apps on Chrome OS, Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
ARC is in early beta though so Google has kept the project’s reach very limited with only a handful of apps being ported to ARC, which have all been the result of close collaborations between Google and the app developer. Google however, is now taking big steps forward with the latest developer preview, it’s allowing any developer to run their app on ARC via a new Chrome app packager, and it’s also allowing ARC to run on any desktop OS with a Chrome browser.
Native Client (NaCL) is a Chrome sandboxing technology that allows Chrome apps and plugins to run at “near native” speeds, which allows ARC to run Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS taking full advantage of the system’s CPU and GPU. NaCL turns Chrome into a development platform, so developers write to it, and it’ll run on all desktop Chrome browsers. Google has already ported a full stack of Android apps to NaCL.
Google has released the named ARC Welder, a Chrome app which will convert any Android app into an ARC-powered Chrome app. It’s mainly for developers to package up an APK and submit it to the Chrome Web Store, but anyone can package and launch an APK from the app directly.