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Turn any app into a Chrome extension

Get your favourite Android apps on any Chrome OS device

Screen shot 2014-10-30 at 11.06.55

Thanks to the influx of new Chromebooks and similar Chrome OS devices, Google has finally given in to porting over a select number of Android apps over to Chrome. Evernote, Vine, Duolingo and Sight Words are currently the only Android apps that have been officially ported over to Chrome OS, but thanks to a new app, users can port nearly any Android app they desire on to their Chromebook.

The ARChon Packager is an app that’s capable of converting 99% of the apps on the Google Play store into an extension that will run on any Chromebook. The finished product will leave you with an exact replica of the Android app, enabling you to expand the functionality of your Chromebook tenfold. In this tutorial we’ll help you select the right app to convert, as well as identify the settings and features you must check out before converting the app. We’ll also show you where to find the converted file and how to transfer it across to your Chromebook.

For more in-depth tutorials, make sure to check out the new issue of Android Magazine.

  1. step1

    Install the app

    When you first open the ARChon Packager app, you’ll be prompted to select where the app you want to convert is stored to. Selecting the Installed Application option will bring up a list of all the apps, whereas the APK option will require the app to perform a scan.

  2. step2

    Select an app

    No matter the option you previously picked, eventually you’ll be given a list of all the apps available to be converted. Although some apps may not be included, chances are you’ll find nearly all the installed APK files and apps on your device readily available.

  3. step3

    Device and orientation

    After selecting your app, you’ll now want to select whether to convert the phone or tablet version of the app. It’s important to note that not every app will have this option. Secondly, you’ll need to choose whether you want the app to be converted in portrait or landscape mode.

  4. step4

    Other settings

    After pressing the Next button at the bottom of the screen, the app will automatically begin converting the app into a Chrome extension. Depending on the size of the app, this process can anywhere from a few seconds right up to a few minutes in order to fully complete.

  5. step5

    Finalise conversion

    You can change a number of settings within the app to help make your customised notification bar a bit easier to use. For example, the Notification Priority option enables users to choose how often they want to be alerted when a new notification is available.

  6. step6

    Share the extension

    At the bottom of the confirmation screen you can select to share the newly-formed Chrome extension. Due to the small size of the files, these can be distributed via various social media platforms, through emails, or simply through a cloud storage account.

  7. step7

    Find the file

    To start the transfer process across to your Chrome OS device, download and open the File Explorer app from the Google Play store. You’ll need this app to help search your device’s internal storage. Once opened, scroll down the list and find the ChromeAPKS folder.

  8. step8

    Transfer

    By long-pressing on one of your converted apps, you can choose to export it to a cloud storage account. This makes it a lot easier to access on a Chromebook. If you’re planning on exporting numerous extensions, this process can take a while to complete.

  9. step9

    Install and enjoy

    Now go onto the cloud storage account on your Chromebook and download the file. The extension will automatically add itself to your app drawer at the bottom of the Chromebook and by opening it, you’ll be able to enjoy your newly converted Android app.

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