After Google announced they were opening up the ARC runtime to all developers to port Android apps to ChromeOS on Thursday, Google has released a tool to help automate the process.
Android Runtime for Chrome or ARC as it’s known is an extension which was released last year when Google first started porting apps to ChromeOS, it helps to run the services required by the Android apps when running on Chrome. The tool released by Google, called the ARC Welder, helps to integrate Google Play Services that some apps require when running the ported apps, which in theory will now run on any version of Chrome – including on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and of course Chrome OS.
ARC is still technically in Beta, so it’s still not going to be a fire-and-forget solution to port apps. The ARC extension will support a number of Google Play Services such as Auth (OAuth2), Google Cloud Messaging (GCM), Google+ sign-in, Maps, Location and Ads. Developers need to actually make changes to their Android APK, which should cut down on people wildly porting apps without the consent of the developer, although with the release of tools like the ChromeOS APK tool released in September, that particular horse has bolted.
But this release by Google actually fixes a number of issues encountered by hackers when porting apps to ChromeOS using the ChromeOS-APK tool, integrating the missing Google Play Services component.