How to Install APKs on Your Chromebook

How to Install APKs on Your Chromebook. Six years ago Google decided to announce that the Android app would be going to Chromebook, supercharging these small machines with millions of apps available for the mobile Android ecosystem. The app can even send notifications, allow touch output, and even work offline.

How to Install APKs on Your Chromebook

Android Apps on Chrome OS

Downloading the Android Apps on your Chrome OS is very easy with Google Play Store; and you can get, Say Android versions of Zoom, Skype, or Photoshop with just one tap. And although the Play Store happens to be the easiest, it is not the only way for you to install apps available on your Chromebook. You can also choose to sideload them making use of Android Package (APK) files.

You might be interested in installing apps with APKs for any number of reasons. Some of the Android apps at the moment are not available on the Play Store (Most because of geo-restrictions), For example.

Google’s rollout of updates often lags behind the APK archives, and a much older version of an app can often get tested with the APK files mainly because the Google Play Store installs the latest version. Android Apps can get sideloaded in two main ways: making use of the developer Mode or ADB on Linux. Also, we would explain both of the methods of installing APKs on your Chromebook.

How to Install APKs in Developer Mode

APKs can get installed on a Chromebook with just one click in the developer mode, but it is best you do not make use of this option. Turning on the Developer Mode is more like rooting an Android or even jailbreaking an iPhone namely, it might actually void your Chromebook’s warranty. The process also goes on to erase everything found on your Chromebook. Google even warns you about potential security, software, and hardware risks every time that you boot up the machine in developer mode.

The method can still be used when entering the developer mode and it can vary slightly between Chrome OS machines. Some Chromebook are in possession of a dedicated physical switch that would enable developer mode, while others would only require keyboard shortcuts. Also, you can head over to the Chromium projects and then search for the Developer Mode, Along side the model of your Chromebook for detailed instructions. Seeing as that has been said, you can follow this step for most Chromebook.

  • Any files that you need should be backed up to the cloud before you decide to proceed. Also, remove any external devices that are attached to your Chromebook.
  • Enter Recovery mode via holding down the Esc + Refresh keys and then pressing down the power button once. Let go of the Esc and refresh when the recovery message finally pops up on the screen.
  • After that, press CTRL + D in other to enter the Developer Mode. When prompted, hit the enter.
  • Once you do this, your Chromebook would get restarted in the developer mode
  • The Developer mode will sign you out of your Google Account, so, you would be required to sign in again and wait for your preferences to get re-synced

Once this is done, you would be able to download your APKs and install them from the context menu with just one click.

How to Install APKs on Chromebook with ADB

Using Linux and enabled debugging, we still get to install the ADB utility. ADB happens to be a very powerful tool, the app would help you sideload APKs. Also, you would need to move your APK file to the Linux container. APKs for most apps can get downloaded from multiple third-party stores.

  1. In other to move your APK file to your Linux directory, drag and drop it right into My Files > Linux files. You might need to give the APK another name that would make it a lot easier to type into the terminal.
  2. Now launch the Linux Terminal. Visit Here for How to install Terminal
  3. You would be using the APT package manager to install the ADB command-line tool. Enter the following without quotes: “Sudo apt install ADB”. Press Y and hit Enter when prompted.
  4. The APT package will install the necessary packages and drop you right back on the terminal when it’s done.
  5. Next, we would connect the ADB to your Chromebook making use “ADB connect arc.” You would get prompted to allow USB debugging. Hit on Ok. Keep “always allow from the computer” checked if you want to interface with your device in the coming future.
  6. The terminal should also indicate a successful connection.
  7. With ADB ready, we can finally install the Android apps. In other to install your APK, Enter “ADB install nameofyourfile.apk” in the terminal. You can either copy-paste the APK file name or type it manually.

ADB returns “Success” when the installation is complete. You would find the app shortcut in the Chrome OS launcher.


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