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You can now run Android apps on your Windows desktop

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Android 5

Google has launched a new Chrome application that can run Android apps on your desktop computer.

It’s called ‘ARC Welder’, and it works with any system that has the Chrome browser installed – that means it works on Windows, Mac, Linux, and, of course, Chrome OS.

It’s a spin-off of Google’s App Runtime for Chrome (ARC), which allowed a small number of developers to run Android apps on Chrome OS.

The ARC is still in early beta right now, although the ARC Welder is free to use for anyone who wants to give it a try.

You can convert any Android .apk file using the software, although many apps might not be very well suited to a desktop experience.

It’s worth noting that ARC is based on Android 4.4 right now, not Google’s latest Android 5.0 Lollipop OS.

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While it’s not yet clear what developers will come up with using the ARC Welder tool, this could be the beginning of a more unified Android ecosystem.

Microsoft is already well underway with Windows 10 development, which will see various Windows platforms unified under one banner, including mobile and desktop.

The ARC Welder will mean that developers can create apps that work on both mobile and desktop, which could signal an attempt on Google’s part to match Microsoft’s efforts.

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