I found 2 good ways to run Android apps on a PC, which works pretty well for me. (I have a select few) apps that only run on mobile. The first and easiest way is to use a Chrome add-on called Arc Welder. You can install it on the chrome browser (any operating system) using the google play store. Then you need to download the .apk file for the android app that you want to run on your PC. Then run Arc Welder. The first time, it will ask you where to store its files. Then you can open the .apk file that you downloaded, and chose how you want to run it (ex. screen orientation etc. ) After that it will show up on your list of chrome apps, along with arc welder so that you can re-run whenever you like. I only tried a few, and they all seemed to work pretty well, but not android apps will be compatible, especially if they use hardware which is only on a mobile device (like a phone for example) But it is convenient for certain apps.
Another way is to download and run an operating system called FydeOs. It is a fork (copy) of Chrome OS which is the opensource operating system that Chromebooks also use which runs android as well as cloud apps. This solution is a little more involved, but also more powerful. It worked for me on newer laptops, but not the old one. First you download FydeOs, then burn it to a USB stick with the directions that they provide. (You use a utility called Etcher to flash the OS to a USB. stick) Then you can boot your laptop with the USB key. (You might have to change the boot order in your bios). The first time you run it, the default language is Chinese, so you have to click on the international icon (on the left) and change the language to English. After that the setup/config is pretty easy. The OS is fast and small enough to run from the USB key, so I didn’t install it to my hard drive. You may have to resize the partition on the key called “state” if you want more space (Use gparted), but all your data will be stored on the key. I used a 32 GB USB key and it was plenty. Also USB 3.0 will be even better than 2.0 if your machine supports it. There is even a linux development environment option, but I didn’t try installing it. The developers had to change the default browser search page to Bing, to avoid problems with Google. But you can change it back. I like the idea of being able to run Chrome OS on my own hardware, instead of having to buy a Chromebook. That way, I could run Linux, Windows, ChromeOS/Google cloud and android apps, all on the same PC!
Running chrome OS is pretty easy and self explanatory. If you have never used it before, there are many tutorials available. If you want to run android apps, you can manually install the .apk file in the chromeOS session. Or you can install the Google Play store using a launcher called Nova. Actually, it is already installed, but Nova will allow you to put it on the menu for easy access. Then you can pin any apps to the dock at the bottom of the screen, by right clicking and chose to “pin”,
Let me know how you make out, or if you have questions.
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