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Android Question Run Native Android Apps in your PC using Google ARC Welder

Discussion in 'Android Questions' started by tdocs2, May 5, 2015.

  1. tdocs2

    tdocs2 Well-Known Member Licensed User


    Mashiane had reported on early stages of this development (here).

    Google now provides the capability to run Android Apps in "Chrome" using Google ARC Welder (ARC for Chrome, ART for Android 4.4 and above - replaced Dalvik). ARC Welder is in BETA mode.

    I tested it successfully in Win8.1 64 bit with an app I had published in Google Play.

    Please see:


    Any input/experience added to this thread will help us all.

    Best regards.

    Last edited: May 7, 2015
    Troberg and Erel like this.
  2. tdocs2

    tdocs2 Well-Known Member Licensed User


    I ran further tests and found out the following:

    1. The app has to be in Google Play (I could not any app tested in any other way).
    2. If you have a developer account, you can upload the app you want to test in Alpha mode.
    3. The app I just tested - fairly complex and UI intensive - runs perfectly in Tablet mode in the PC but adjustments would have to be made to UI for maximized screen.
    4. I would be curious to see how Erel's File Transfer behaves - anyone?. But no more time to play - back to work.
    5. Google Play is not quite available in ARC Welder.
    6. The app runs very fast.
    7. The small fonts blur slightly.

    Please if you are interested, post your experiences/input here.

    Best regards.

    Devan likes this.
  3. NJDude

    NJDude Expert Licensed User

    Take a look at THIS post.
    thedesolatesoul likes this.
  4. tdocs2

    tdocs2 Well-Known Member Licensed User

    Thank you, NJ.

    I think that was very early infancy. Now Google has created the Arc Welder.

    From the Google site, 3 steps:

    To test your app, you need three things:
    1. Your APK.
    2. PC, Mac, Linux, or Chromebook on Chrome Version 41+.
    3. The ARC Welder app.

    You can then test in your PC and actually upload your Android app to Chrome (I have not tried this). I do not know about the protection of your APK,etc...

    Best regards.


    PS: Google's response to Win 10 "Universal" solution?
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
    Devan likes this.
  5. tdocs2

    tdocs2 Well-Known Member Licensed User

    The IP address of the app running in Chrome is, the loopback address. This is on Win 8.1.

    I do not have a Chromebook, so I do not know if the IP will work.

    Also, I have no idea where the data from the app is stored by Chrome????

    Best regards,

  6. wonder

    wonder Expert Licensed User

    My project runs flawlessly (LibGDX / OpenGL). Maybe a little bit too fast.


    WHOA!!! This is fantastic!! It looks like I'm a PC / Mac developer now!!! :D Thank you so much!!!

  7. Mashiane

    Mashiane Expert Licensed User

    @sandy, thanks for the heads up. I have installed the chrome web app on my windows 7 64 bit, however it just shows a white screen. I have also checked on the reviews from other users of the app and noted that some also have the same issue. I guess for now, I will leave that until a RC is available perhaps due to the Beta nature of the apps it still has some bugs that need clearing.
  8. edgar_ortiz

    edgar_ortiz Active Member Licensed User

    I'm in the same position... never load my APK :(

    Any idea??


  9. tdocs2

    tdocs2 Well-Known Member Licensed User

    @Mashiane @Edgar

    Did you get the Arc Welder? Are you adding one of your apk's that you have published in Google Play (even as alpha)?

  10. wonder

    wonder Expert Licensed User

    It works flawlessly on my home PC (Win7 64-Bit) and crashes on my work PC (Win7 32-Bit).
  11. tdocs2

    tdocs2 Well-Known Member Licensed User


    and others:

    I was able to run my app which is in Google Play - as tablet Lanscape


    and as phone portrait:

  12. tdocs2

    tdocs2 Well-Known Member Licensed User

    I saw lots of negative reports on 32 bit but none (I may have missed them) on 64 bit.

    I only have 2 PC's Win 8.1 64bit.

    I think Google is trying to establish Chrome OS as the operating system to run on multiple platforms and use ARC to get the 1.3 million apps in Android. They have the Google stick coming out early summer for less than 100USD that plugs into an HDMI port, has a USB and you have a Chrome PC.
  13. Beja

    Beja Expert Licensed User

    Can the blur font be highlighted and copied/pasted?
    Can the app run in Chrome offline?

    If (both) answers are NO, then I think the processes are running in remote Android server and not in a Windows platform.
  14. tdocs2

    tdocs2 Well-Known Member Licensed User

    Hello, Beja.

    I do not know what you mean by Remote Android Server... I just disconnected this PC from my network (wireless router), and I was able to run an app I had added to the Chrome App Launcher. I updated records and the updates remained. So, I would say it is running locally except I have no idea where the data is.

    Regarding the "blur" (i should not have used the adjective blur) fonts, it happens only when I run the app maximixed to the size of the monitor, and not as a tablet (smaller). Some fonts seem to scale, but listview fonts do not and are not crisp. Anchors work well. Clock cannot be set and it is fixed on GMT and not on the PC clock (I believe that this will be addressed in future releases).

    I am able to copy and paste within my app. I was able to paste to Google Docs in the App Launcher. I was able to paste to Win Notepad from my app.

    Hope I was able to answer the questions. You could try it for yourself and any addition to this thread will be helpful.

    Best regards.

  15. Beja

    Beja Expert Licensed User

    Hi Sandy and thanks for the detailed response.. I was just wondering if it was another web app service.. I will try it and comment here.
  16. tdocs2

    tdocs2 Well-Known Member Licensed User


    This is part of the Google documentation on Arc Welder:
    • If you need to check if your app is running on Chrome OS, look for chromium as the android.os.Build.BRAND and android.os.Build.MANUFACTURER.
    I have no idea how to do this in B4A.
  17. DonManfred

    DonManfred Expert Licensed User

    i think
    Dim p As Phone
    should point out "chromium" in the log when running in arc-welder. I dont know how to get the BRAND but i guess checking the Manbufacturer should work
    thedesolatesoul and tdocs2 like this.
  18. Beja

    Beja Expert Licensed User

    The arc welder is the culprit.
    there were four possibilities:
    1- Chrome browser updated to enable it to run apps (didn't happen)
    2- Android updated to be compatible with Chrome (didn't happen)
    3- run the apps in a webserver, optimize it for Chrome, then send it to the browser (question mark) *
    4- the arc welder stitches the app to Chrome.

    * The question mark comes from the fact that Google requires you to have a dev account, and that the app should be there.
    If I took the apk on a disk and run it in Chrome in another computer that has never been connected to the net, then uploading the app to Google Play as requirement doesn't make sense.
  19. tdocs2

    tdocs2 Well-Known Member Licensed User


    On the mark, as usual (running on Win 8.1 as tablet under Chromium). Thank you.

    Last edited: May 7, 2015
  20. tdocs2

    tdocs2 Well-Known Member Licensed User


    I am sorry you missed this point on post #2 of this thread:

    I had originally tried to load an APK that was not in my developer account, and I could not (ergo, my remarks in post #2).

    Best regards.

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