If you have a Chromebook Pixel, Asus Flip Chromebook, or an Acer R11 Chromebook, installing Kodi is pretty simple. Just head over to the Google Play Store and download the Kodi application to use it right now.
Also see our article How To Clear the Cache in Kodi
If you don’t have one of those three Chromebook models, though, you won’t be able to access Android applications from the Google Play Store. You need to wait for the Google Play Store to come to your Chromebook device so you can download, install, and run Kodi and other Android applications on your Chromebook…
Or do you?
With a little adjustment, you can actually get Android applications like Kodi on your Chromebook now—without the wait. Come along as we teach you how to get the Kodi app and install it on your Chromebook.
Activate Chromebook Build 53
Before we get into things, this process involves a few steps. If you feel iffy about messing around with settings on your Chromebook, maybe you should hold off. Otherwise, here we go!
The first step is to switch your Chromebook to build 53 of the OS, which (at the time of this article) is in Beta. To do this, go into your Chromebook settings. At the top of the page, click on “About Chrome OS.” In the About window, click “For more info…” and under “Channel” click on the “Change channel” button in gray. The options are “Stable,” “Beta,” and “Developer.” Choose the Beta channel. This allows you to access build 53 of Chrome OS, which is the version we want.
What switching to the Beta channel does is let your Chromebook use a newer, more experimental version of the operating system. It will have newer features than the “Stable” OS; it might also have more bugs than the “Stable” OS. And a word of warning: once you’ve switched to “Beta,” switching back to “Stable” will delete all the downloaded files from your Chromebook, so be sure to back up anything you need before making that change.
Once you’ve switched to the Beta channel, your Chromebook will need to update and restart. Once it’s restarted, you can move on to the next step.
Install and Use Arc Welder
Go to the Chrome developer page and download Arc Welder from this link. (If you try to download Arc Welder directly from the Chrome web store, it doesn’t show up. We’re not sure why this is, but use our direct link and you’ll be able to get it.)
Next, use a trusted APK download site so you don’t install viruses or malware on your Chromebook. We like to use APKMirror–it’s the one most recommended by the folks over at XDAdevelopers. Another one that’s okay is APKpure.com, but their APKs don’t always work as well as APKMirror’s do.
Once you’ve gotten Arc Welder installed and you’ve made your way to APKMirror, it’s time to choose which Kodi APK you’ll install on your Chromebook. Here’s how you’ll do that:
- On your Chromebook, open the Arc Welder application.
- Click on the plus (+) sign in the orange circle to “Add your APK.” This will open your Chromebook’s file folder. We like to save all our APKs to the Downloads folder; this is just the easiest way to handle things.
- The file folder will open. Select the Kodi APK file, then click the blue “Open” button in the bottom right corner.
- Now, in the Arc Welder app, you’ll see the Kodi app being built. Then you’ll see that it’s ready for testing.
- Once the Kodi app is ready for testing, click on the “Test” button in the lower right. You’ll see the Kodi application loading and preparing for the first run. You may have to wait for a little while before things get up and running, so have some patience with this part of the process.
Make Kodi a Chrome Extenion
The Arc Welder application will only allow one app at a time for testing. So what you’ll want to do next is add the APK as an extension with your Google Chrome browser. You can also do this with any other APKs that you download and wish to keep installed on your Chromebook. Here’s how:
- Open the Google Chrome browser. Click on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner, then scroll down to “More tools.” Click on “Extensions.”
- Make sure that “Developer mode” is checked at the top of the page.
- Now click the “Load Unpacked Extensions” button in the top left, under where it says “Extensions.”
- The download file folder will open again. When it does, select the KODI.apk_export file that Arc Welder created.
- Select the “Open” button on the bottom of the file screen. The extension will then be added to your Chrome OS extensions. You’re going to see a pink warning box about the extension, but that’s okay. It should still work, although be aware that not ALL Android applications will.
That might seem like a lot of fiddling to get Android apps to work, but it’s faster than waiting for the Google Play Store to become available on your Chromebook. On the other hand, if all that seemed like a piece of cake to you, maybe you’ll want to add on to Kodi or customize Kodi even further.