Sideloading APK files via Crostini just got easier with latest Chrome OS update

How do you install apps on your Android device? Well, most of the people rely only on Google Play because everything happens with a touch on the screen there. What about installing apps that are unavailable on the store?

Well, you need to sideload them. As an Android user, you might have done that many times already. For example, Google doesn’t allow unofficial streaming applications on their platform. So, the developers supply respective APK files for those in need.

newpipe_pewdiepie
NewPipe, a popular third party YouTube client, is distributed as APK

When it comes to Chromebook, you can install apps from Play Store. However, you were not allowed to do seamless sideloading. In order have a third-party application, a series of geeky steps as well as a secondary device was needed.

But things are changing now! About a couple of months ago, Google announced they would be bringing easier Android app sideloading to Chrome OS 80. But, the hardware should be capable of running Crostini for one to access the feature.

Guess what, the Mountain View tech titan has quietly brought it to the latest beta version (v80). Meaning, it’s already found its way to canary and dev (v81). So, how can one leverage it so that sideloading becomes easier?

First, make sure that you are running either beta, dev or canary build of Chrome OS. Then, head over to Settings>> Linux Beta>> Turn on>> Install. Once you do that, enable USB debugging and restart your device.
chrome os sideloading apk

After getting back to the platform, you will see a warning message on the lock screen saying that unauthorised applications might be present. As we are doing exactly that, you can ignore the same to log in.

Get ready with an APK file and fire up the terminal. There, you will have to enter the command adb connect 100.115.92.2:5555. It will establish a connection between your terminal and the Android container as if it were a physical device.
crostini disk resizing

There you go! The only thing left for you to do is entering a command (adb install app-name.apk) to install application using the file you have downloaded. That’s it!

Thanks Some_Random_Username for the screenshots!

Note:- Stay tuned to our Google section for similar stories.

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Rahul Krishnan

Rahul Krishnan, a wordsmith from Kerala, India is always in lookout for his next article idea. He is a fanatic reader. And, the rumour is that his mom has recently hidden his debit card so that he won't buy books anymore. She doesn't know he has a spare one.