This Chrome OS tool lets you run most Android apps

It’s no secret that Google is working towards full app integration between Chrome OS and Android, especially now that the first wave of cross-platform apps are now available. At the moment, only four apps are cross-platform, but Google promises more are on their way. But what if you can’t wait that long?

Well you can make it a reality with the chrome-apk, but you have to be really into the idea because it certainly isn’t an easy thing to accomplish. It’s not as complex as something like brain surgery, but it isn’t as simple as installing one piece of software and letting it do its thing either. So before you start you should definitely make sure that your Chromebook is capable of running Android apps, or all that work will go to waste.

The other disadvantage is that you can only have four apps running at the same time. This is because the tool doesn’t actually install the apps, instead it replaces one of the four Android apps that are already available for Chrome. So, for instance, you could replace the Vine app with something like Soundhound, but you can’t use Soundhound and Vine at the same time if you do so. Since there are only four apps available, you’re limited to replacing and running four apps at the same time.

In theory the more Android apps that become available on Chrome, the more apps you should be able to expand that number considerably. While it might be a little bit tricky, or possibly even confusing, it’s certainly better than waiting around if you can get the process to work.

You can check out a video of the apps in action below, and you can download everything you need to set it up here.

Want to read more? Here’s our coverage of the recent Apple announcements, including everything you need to know about Apple’s ‘phablet’, the iPhone 6 Plus, and smartwatches buying guide, or if you’re sick of Apple completely, here’s our rundown of our 14 favourite dating apps, from Tinder to eHarmony.

Tom Pritchard