Jun 6, 2017

Is There an Answer for Running Android on a PC?


As the most widely used mobile operating system in the technology world, a large number of apps exist for the Android platform. Being able to take advantage of all this software on the larger footprint of a desktop PC has been the stuff of science fiction until recently. It appears a new application called Anbox natively runs Android apps on a PC using the Linux operating system.

Let's take a closer look at Anbox to see if it offers any value to your company. Organizations with an investment in internally developed Android software might be interested in what it can do.

Android in a Box

Anbox, which is short for "Android in a Box,” is an open source project that essentially provides the means for running Android apps on a Linux instance. Unlike emulators or virtual machines, Anbox treats each individual Android app like it was a native application compiled for Linux. This allows this "formerly” mobile app to take full advantage of the resources of the desktop machine.

Brad Linder for Liliputing commented about what features and functionality Anbox brings to the table. "There's no emulation required. That's because Anbox is designed to run on GNU/Linux distributions such as Ubuntu or Fedora, using the same Linux kernel for both the host operating system and for Android.

"The software is still in alpha and the installer currently requires an operating system that supports snaps, so not all Linux users will be able to easily install Anbox right now. But Ubuntu, arch, Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE and several other popular Linux-based operating systems already support snaps,” said Linder.

Anbox is still an Alpha Release

As an alpha release, the developers are still working out a few kinks with Anbox's performance. Early adopters report "snappy” performance, but tempered by the occasional crash, especially when using media apps, like music players.

Some pundits wonder if Google might make Android closed source if Anbox cuts into the fledgling Chromebook market. Considering Alphabet's revenue is still largely derived from internet search revenue, such a draconian move is unlikely, especially considering the ubiquitous nature of Android. There would be many upset smartphone manufacturers throughout the technology industry.

If your organization is curious about Anbox's performance, downloading the program is a must. This is definitely something worthy of further exploration for any company with an investment in Android software.

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