Google launched ARC last year, which were tools that would allow developers to begin making Android apps available on any desktop operating system. While it’s a far cry from putting Android apps on your iOS device, it is an interesting take on a concept that Microsoft has similarly been working on for Windows 10 for phones. Google though, with their ARC tools essentially allow for this to happen with Android apps – unofficially beating Microsoft to the punch.
Google’s ARC runs on every major desktop OS on the market – which includes Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS and is made possible thanks to the addition of Native Client. Native Client is known as a sandboxing technology that gives apps the ability to run at near native speeds. It’s not widely available, and is only currently available to a very small pool of developers – but offers significant insight into the direction that computing is going.
At the end of the day, these projects by both Microsoft and Google are about providing more when it comes to cross-platform integration. It isn’t just about getting their apps onto other operating systems – but making them better on other operating systems. Perhaps the best way to do that is to allow the app to run in its native form – as if it’s on its own native operating system – over the top of the operating system that it is running through.
This is still in the very early stages of movement – even as Google has very recently made an update to ARC. As many have pointed out to this point, from some of the attempts that have been made to see how this would work, or testing it on various operating systems – some major components might have been included in this version of ARC – but ultimately are still missing from the finished product. However, this is something that only functions in desktop operating systems, which is key to the entire process. We’re not talking about the introduction of Android apps to Windows or iOS on mobile. That being said, it doesn’t look like there will be any advancement of Chrome for Windows 10 for phones.
The other caveat in the current setup is the standing requirement of a Chrome browser. While that might not be an ask for a dedicated Google user, that could be an ask for someone who is running a MacBook, or some other larger PC that is handling something like Firefox as the primary web browser. Either way, the project is very intriguing and stands to improve the overall landscape really if Google can continue developing it into a complete product.