Although most new Chromebooks can download and run Android applications from the Play Store, not all apps are compatible. The only way to get around this is by sideloading APKs just like on Android smartphones. Unfortunately, the only way to do this on Chrome OS is by enabling Developer Mode, which requires wiping the device and potentially voiding your warranty. According to a new code commit, this might soon change…

Cell Phones from Amazon

Google began work on potentially adding this feature after a user submitted a bug report asking for a way to sideload Android apps from unknown sources without the Chromebook being in Developer Mode.

The code commit, as found by Chrome Story, reads as follows:

Add ARC sideloading device policy.

Adds a simple boolean device policy to give enterprise administrator control over allowing APK sideloading for Chrome OS / ARC users.

BUG=761329

According to this code commit, the feature to allow enterprise administrators to enable or disable sideloading remotely. If this is something that can be done on a widespread network level at schools and businesses with a large number of Chromebooks, there should also be the option for individual users. Hopefully, we will see this option pop up in an upcoming Chrome OS beta release.


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