Install Android apps on Ubuntu

By | November 22, 2014
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In recent years, Android has become a household name, gaining huge popularity primarily because of the huge range of applications available on it’s market. Coupled with the recent advancements, giving it the ability to run virtually on any device via simple tweaks and modifications, Android is here to stay for a long time. Recently, Google released a list of applications which could be simply installed and executed on Chrome OS. This was a major breakthrough, since running Android apps on a desktop computer will lead to unlimited possibilities.

Now here is the part where Ubuntu comes into the picture. Recently, a developer has figured out a way to install Android apps on Ubuntu using Chrome. You will require to convert the android apps into “Chromified” apks so that they can be used by the chrome script.

NOTE: This is not an official release by Google, and is quite an unstable and buggy process. So proceed at your own risk.

So lets begin with our guide to install Android apps on Ubuntu

Step 1: Install Google Chrome version 37 or higher 

You can do this via the Ubuntu market.

If you wish to install the unstable version, run the following command in the terminal.

sudo apt-get install google-chrome-unstable

Step 2: Download and extract ARChon v1.1 

Click on the following links based on version you currently have:

Click here to download ARChon v1.1 for 32 bit Chrome

Click here to download ARChon v1.1 for 64 bit Chrome 

Once downloaded extract the contents and move them to your ~/Home directory.

Step 3: Install the ARChon extension on your Chrome browser.

Open the Chrome browser and click the customize icon right next to the address bar

Customize icon.

Now Select Tools -> Extensions .

check developer mode

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Check the “Enable developer mode” option near the top.

Load unpacked extension

Now click on “Load unpacked extension” and select the folder you placed into your ~/Home directory.

Step 4: Convert an android app into Chromified APK

Type the following command based on your Ubuntu version (32 bit or 64 bit)

Ubuntu 32 bit

sudo apt-get install npm nodejs nodejs-legacy

sudo npm install -g chromeos-apk

Ubuntu 64 bit

sudo apt-get install lib32stdc++6
sudo apt-get install npm nodejs nodejs-legacy

sudo npm install -g chromeos-apk

Now download an APK of an app  of your choice ( All APKs may not work as it is an unstable extension). Place the APK of the  app in the ~/Home folder.

Now type the following command in the terminal replacing the APK name in the command.

chromeos-apk replaceme.apk –archon

run command

Step 5: Run the app

Return to the extensions page of Chrome and click on “Load unpacked extension” and select the folder of the Chromified APK just created.

Now proceed as instructed to install the app. Bear in mind that not all applications are supported as of now as this is not an official release by Google or Chromium.

Once installed successfully open the Chrome App Launcher to launch the app.

Flipboard on Chrome Ubuntu

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