How to enable Android Apps on Dell Chromebook 13 (7310)

These instructions are relevant as of May 12th 2017 and should be applicable to all Chromebooks with server-side support (see list at bottom of this article).  There’s a lot of old information predominantly created in November 2016 for instructions which are no longer relevant.  This is a result of changes to Chrome OS.  

Currently, Android Apps can be enabled by switching to the Developer Channel or by entering some commands with your Chromebook in Developer Mode (Stable or Beta Channel). Both options will result in a full wipe of your system so backup any files you may have stored locally.

Either option comes with it’s own disadvantages. Option 1 means you’ll have to re-enable Android Apps after a shutdown via a quick command. Option 2 means you’ll be on a unstable channel of Chrome OS so expect bugs. Note that if you choose Option 1, you can remain on the Stable version of Chrome OS (I personally do this, confirmed working in stable version 58.0.3029.112)

Please choose either option below (1 OR 2 – You don’t have to do both).

1. To enable Developer Mode 

  • Whilst logged in to your Chromebook, Press  ESC + Refresh(F3) + Power
  • The Recovery screen says “Chrome OS is missing or damaged.” It isn’t, actually — this screen normally just appears when your Chrome OS installation is damaged.  Press CTRL+D at the Recovery screen.
  • You’ll see a screen saying “To turn OS Verification OFF, press Enter.” Press Enter to enable developer mode.
  • Load ChromeOS by pressing CTRL+D at the white “OS verification is OFF” screen
  • Wait at least 10 minutes for the system to transistion to Developer Mode
  • Once booted, open Chrome browser, hold Ctrl & Alt & press T
  • Copy and paste (right-click to paste in terminal) the following:

shell
sudo su
cp /etc/chrome_dev.conf /usr/local/
mount –bind /usr/local/chrome_dev.conf /etc/chrome_dev.conf
echo “–arc-availability=officially-supported ” >> /etc/chrome_dev.conf
restart ui
exit

  • Once you have logged back in, you should see Play Store available from the main menu.
  • If you turn off your Chromebook (complete power off opposed to sleep), you will need to re-enter some of the code above from terminal (Ctrl & Alt & press T):
shell
sudo su
mount –bind /usr/local/chrome_dev.conf /etc/chrome_dev.conf
restart ui
exit
  • If you wish to type the code manually, you do not need to type the last 2 lines of code.  You can simply sign out and sign back in (Tip: Hold Ctrl & Shift and press Q twice to sign out quickly.


2. To switch to Developer Channel of Chrome:

UPDATE 11th June 2017 – Some users are reporting this method isn’t working for them.  This is probably due to constant changes and differences in the Developer Channel build.  However, method 1 is still working.

  • Click Settings > About Chrome OS > More Info….
  • Click Change Channel > Select Developer – unstable > Change Channel
  • Wait for download to complete, then reboot and wait for system to apply changes.
  • Once rebooted, you should see the Play Store appear from the main menu.  If not, you may need to go to Settings and check “Enable Android apps to run on your Chromebook”.

Chromebooks with server-side support

  • Acer Chromebook 14
  • Acer Chromebook 15 (not all models)
  • Acer Chromebook 11 c740
  • ASUS C201
  • ASUS C202SA
  • ASUS C300SA
  • Dell Chromebook 13
  • Edugear CMT Chromebook
  • HP Chromebook 11 G5
  • Lenovo ThinkPad 13
  • Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2015)

The old command – For interest/reference only.
–enable-arc was depreciated in recent versions of Chrome OS which is why most of the existing tutorials online are no longer valid.  It was replaced with –arc-availability=officially-supported

The old instructions used the following command on the fifth line:

echo “–enable-arc ” >> /etc/chrome_dev.conf

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