Twerking your way to Skype on a Chromebook - ChromeOS future includes Android apps

One of the pain points of Chromebook users is that certain kinds of applications either aren't available for ChromeOS or are impractical. ChromeOS is a Chrome web browser, running pre-packaged on top of Linux, with a bunch of security goodness backed up by Google cloud services. It's an amazing environment but the applications are limited to running inside Chrome. Well, unless you jailbreak the device and install Crouton allowing you to run Linux. The primary result is that high end applications like top-notch painting or video editing applications don't run on ChromeOS because web browsers don't have the right performance and capabilities. Skype has a similar issue because of the performance required to send/receive video/audio over the Internet, especially for conference calls.

Earlier I'd posted instructions for installing the Linux Skype on Crouton on a Chromebook. That method works, but I'm happy to report there's a new method running Skype on ChromeOS itself (sort of).

It's not an official ChromeOS port of Skype, but the Android version of Skype repackaged for ChromeOS.

There's indications that Google will sooner-or-later start supporting Android applications on ChromeOS. Think of this as a preview of what the ChromeOS/Android future will be like.

The basic process is:

  1. Install Evernote
  2. Install Twerk
  3. Get the Skype APK file
  4. Drag the APK file into Twerk
  5. Pick a few settings
  6. Save as an unpacked Extension
  7. Load unpacked Extension
  8. Launch

The first step, installing Evernote, has a side effect of installing a necessary component. I believe the Evernote app is an Android app packaged for ChromeOS. The next step, Twerk, is in the Chrome app store and it takes care of repackaging Android app's for ChromeOS.

All the details are on another dude's blog: http://www.head4space.com/install-skype-chromebook/