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WindowsAndroid Lets You Run Android 4.0 Natively On Your PC 190

Posted by Soulskill
from the hey-why-not dept.
An anonymous reader writes "WindowsAndroid is a very cool tool from the Beijing-based startup SocketeQ that lets you run Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) as a native application on Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8 machines. The creators tell us they have a deep background in virtualization, operating system, and graphics technologies, and have been working on the project for years. Essentially, WindowsAndroid allows you not only to execute Android apps on your Windows computer, but also use the browser, not to mention every other component of the operating system."
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WindowsAndroid Lets You Run Android 4.0 Natively On Your PC

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Will make debugging of mobile HTML5 apps easier

      • by fluffy99 (870997)

        ...and thoroughly documented [google.com].

        This is not the same as the remote debugging for Chrome on Android your cite. This is the ability to actually run ICS 4.0 as a VM on your PC. No android device is actually required. The also appear to have a goal to run Android as the native OS on desktop hardware. Interesting, as Microsoft is trying to make their OS look and feel like an app-centric OS like apple and android, someone is trying to go the other direction.

        • by sjames (1099)

          That has also been available for a while as part of the SDK [android.com].

          • by fluffy99 (870997)

            That has also been available for a while as part of the SDK [android.com].

            The SDK has an emulator, no? This would be natively compiled for x86, so more along the lines of a VM.

            • by sjames (1099)

              The SDK does have an emulator. It's unclear what strategy WindowsAndroid is using.

              • by fluffy99 (870997)

                The data sheet on thier now slash dotted website, mentioned an is abstraction layer, full porting of the dalvik VM and integration with host features such as graphics acceleration and media codecs. Sounds like a port of the OS and apps which use the dalvik VM would run just fine. Maybe apps the need more than that won't work.

                • by sjames (1099)

                  I'm just guessing, but it seems likely that an application using native code wouldn't run in their environment. Of course, they already are less portable even between actual hardware, so it's no surprise there.

  • I always that it would be cool to be able to mess with Android on a desktop. It would be fun to try this VM out.
  • by etash (1907284) on Friday January 25, 2013 @02:57PM (#42693785)
    how many of you would think it twice before willingly installing software from a chinese software company -- given all the news we hear recently about chinese companies being denied access to important western markets due to security reasons and all.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25, 2013 @03:13PM (#42694033)

      Sandbox it. It's an Android emulator, if it can't run in a sandbox at full mobile device speeds, it's not worth using. If it can't run in a sandbox because it requires administrator access to your boot sector, delete with extreme prejudice.

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        You mean....like a VM?

        like everyone else runs android on anything other than a phone/tablet? /facepalm for windowsandroid software to even be created

        • by iamhassi (659463)

          You mean....like a VM?

          like everyone else runs android on anything other than a phone/tablet? /facepalm for windowsandroid software to even be created

          chrome in android in windows in vmware in windows? #Inception

          • You mean....like a VM?

            like everyone else runs android on anything other than a phone/tablet? /facepalm for windowsandroid software to even be created

            chrome in android in windows in vmware in windows? #Inception

            On a MAC...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by noh8rz10 (2716597)
      I agree. I was going to post that here as well, and face the risk of getting modded down. it's simple - why give a chinese company access to your computer, where they can snoop PWs, IDs, CCs, SSNs, etc?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25, 2013 @03:36PM (#42694347)

      You mean the accusations without proof from the US government? The same government that's been waging a cyber-war against other countries in secret for years now? The same government who can run surveillance on their own citizens without a warrant by handing someone a post-it note?

      • by fluffy99 (870997) on Friday January 25, 2013 @05:25PM (#42695613)

        You mean exactly like CHina, Israel, and other countries are doing? It's naive to assume the US holds a monopoly on cyber espionage.

        • by Patch86 (1465427)

          That's the point- they're all as bad as each other. Why should I distrust a Chinese product any more than an American one? Neither government has exactly got a rosy reputation for due process in cyberspace. The answer, by the way, is that I don't automatically distrust either; I keep my sensible hat on when installing new software and hardware on my network, and that's it. Any other mindset can only lead to paranoia and madness.

          This is just the usual US xenophobia against all things Chinese. If this were an

          • by HiThere (15173)

            Sorry, but I've even heard suspicions about British software.

            Nothing wrong with your point that it's bigotted, but China isn't the only country to have people bigotted against them. And I'm not sure they deserve any less skepticism than any of the others. Which is why I prefer GPL software. At least in principle, that can be verified to be honest.

          • by PCM2 (4486)

            That's the point- they're all as bad as each other. Why should I distrust a Chinese product any more than an American one? Neither government has exactly got a rosy reputation for due process in cyberspace.

            You've short circuited your thinking. The difference is that in China, a company is synonymous with the government, but in America, companies and the government are separate.

            Do American companies collaborate with the government? Sure, sometimes. Do they comply with government laws that gag them from talking about what they're doing? Sure, sometimes. But if I hear the US government has been killing people with drones, and then I'm thinking about doing business with Instagram, I don't think to myself, "Wait -

            • by Vlado (817879)

              By your logic every convenience store, street food vendor and laundry in China is run by the government?
              If not, why does there have to be an assumption that some tech-based company couldn't simply be a private enterprise like everywhere else?

    • er . . . about the same worry as any software from anywhere. Do your self protection rituals and don't install it on anything that contains critical information. Look for oddities (unexpected network connections etc) and check for an online community that may show some pedigree for the software.

      Trojan software is a real worry but the fact that it comes from China does not seem to me to alter the worry level. ie: be worried and be careful

      A very cursory check of sites that track threats shows China as a

    • by gmuslera (3436) on Friday January 25, 2013 @04:20PM (#42694847) Homepage Journal
      The problem with chinese products is that you don't know if they will try to get your data or not. Thats the advantage of US based products/services, with them you are sure [google.com]
    • by jrumney (197329)
      Especially when the Android emulator that comes with the official Android SDK has been able to do just this ever since the SDK was publically released.
    • how many of you would think it twice before willingly installing software from a chinese software company -- given all the news we hear recently about chinese companies being denied access to important western markets due to security reasons and all.

      ===

      Me

  • Developers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Therad (2493316) on Friday January 25, 2013 @03:00PM (#42693823)
    Seems like a good thing for android developers. The current simulator is a bit slow.
    • by inamorty (1227366) on Friday January 25, 2013 @03:16PM (#42694079)

      The current simulator is a bit slow.

      I'm curious.
      What kind of filter are you using that is able to remove all traces of swearing from your post? It's very effective!

    • Seems like a good thing for android developers. The current simulator is a bit slow.

      Honestly devices are better. Getting a $300 Nexus 4 phone or a $200 Nexus 7 tablet for development purposes is the way to go. The simulator is fine for limited use, primarily for different screens to test your user interface, but for day to day work I prefer actual devices. YMMV.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      Who modded this as troll, a Google employee?

      It's spot on. I remember (not very fondly) stuffing around with an Android emulator for a while then saying screw this and using an Android phone with ADB to test the software even in the early stages where emulators built into the IDE would be the preference.

  • From China..? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mr.dreadful (758768) on Friday January 25, 2013 @03:01PM (#42693831)
    Is anyone else a little hesitant to run Chinese software? I don't want to be xenophobic, but I'm a bit leery of either Russian or Chinese software.
    • by Hatta (162192)

      That's how I feel about all closed source software. I'm not sure why I should trust American code over Russian or Chinese code.

    • by Virtucon (127420)

      Humm, lots of software products, ones that are very good don't come from the US. Acronis, Kaspersky and others aren't "made in the USA." I would think however that any "free" software that isn't open source would be something that I'd avoid, regardless of who produces it.

    • I am a bit hesitant, but the fact is that BlueStacks is a fuming pile of buggy shit, and left me wanting for a better alternative. So, I might try this anyway.

    • Who cares about China, if you don't trust whoever compiled it, it should be in a sandbox. This is THE argument for open source.
    • I am running Russian Fedora18 spin (Via RPMFUSION -USER) and loving it. It is Fedora with all codecs, and dvd player, svn, git and it is available in English.

      Russian Programmers are no different than American Programmers, and for every Russian software that is on the distribution, you get source. They actually use the Rpmfusion sources for the codecs.

      Only one program that I thought should be essential, That was VLC.

  • OK, for testing apps, this would be nice, since the Android SDK's emulator sucks for most anything people do in apps these days. The emulator doesn't handle OpenGL ES, and probably a lot of other details I haven't bothered with.

  • http://androvm.org (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25, 2013 @03:02PM (#42693855)

    AndroVM is better, runs on GNU/Linux and already supports hardware accelerated OpenGL rendering of Android games when the game installer is not huge (less than 100 MB in size).

  • - Graphics acceleration isn't done yet, so presumably will be very slow.
    - Anything in an app that's compiled for ARM (e.g. if an app has CPU intensive stuff done in C++) shouldn't work if I understand their approach correctly -- i.e. it's not existing within a virtual machine but rather is a port / recompile of the Android OS to run natively on Windows.

    Somebody correct me if I'm wrong...
    • by ewanm89 (1052822)

      You are mostly right, except virtualization needs same instruction set too, it is emulation that allows one to run a different instruction set to the host.

  • BlueStacks (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jason Levine (196982) on Friday January 25, 2013 @03:07PM (#42693943)

    Looks similar to what BlueStacks does. http://www.bluestacks.com/

    And, for those posting about being wary of software from a Chinese company, BlueStacks is located in California.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ArhcAngel (247594)
      I've been running BlueStacks [bluestacks.com] on my laptop for over a year now. And with their port to ARM [techcrunch.com] Windows RT devices should be able to use it as well.
      • by mrbester (200927)

        Doesn't it require a Facebook signin?

      • I've been running BlueStacks [bluestacks.com] on my laptop for over a year now

        Is it getting any better, as of late? I had to deinstall it in frustration, caused by all the bugs that I kept running into. I think I last had it on my desktop PC in November.

        Also: do you know how to enable access to Google Play, on Bluestacks?

    • BlueStacks is located in California.

      They *do* order take out occasionally, though.

    • by Virtucon (127420)

      Oh hell no. BlueStacks is a mind numbing experience. I tried it and can only describe the experience as the closest thing I'll come to being repeatedly hit on the head with a hammer.

      AndroVM is great! I've also tinkered with the Android X86 project [android-x86.org] code as well but under a VM, not on native iron.

  • Peeling the onion (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nanospook (521118) on Friday January 25, 2013 @03:13PM (#42694037)
    I have an app that runs windows on my phone. I wonder if I can run Socket in there? Wouldn't that be the bomb?
  • by lennier1 (264730) on Friday January 25, 2013 @03:21PM (#42694143)

    The lengths people will go to in order to finally get a working alternative to the SDK's goddamn piece of shit of an emulator.

  • Already in the SDK. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ewanm89 (1052822) on Friday January 25, 2013 @03:30PM (#42694261) Homepage

    The SDK can already hardware virtualize an x86 image already (via Intel HAXM on windows and Mac and KVM on Linux), and there is a 4.0.4 x86 image in the repositories.

    • by thygate (1590197)
      The x86 AVD that comes with the SDK has its up and downs. Nice that it also supports gles2.0 etc. But it crashes a lot which makes it very difficult to use as a test/debug platform. For instance it crashes every time when the IME comes up for text input. In the system, in the API demos, ..
      • by ewanm89 (1052822)

        I never said it was perfect, but then give me any application that is. Just said it was available.

    • Does it translate ARM code to x86 for apps that come with compiled libraries?

  • ... I can play Fruit Ninja on a 22" screen!

  • by marciot (598356) on Friday January 25, 2013 @04:12PM (#42694747)

    I would like to try this on my Android phone. Does anyone know of a good Windows emulator I can use to run this software?

  • News for turds (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by zmooc (33175)

    How is proprietary software that only runs on proprietary operating systems, is "in early development status" and does something that existing open source software does much better news for nerds or stuff that matters? Did I overlook the advertorial tag?

  • $25 ARM on a stick [armdevices.net] Plug that into my monitor's HDMI and using bluetooth and there's my "ICS" experience.

  • I always wondered if it could be possible to run android natively on a gnu/linux distribution. The android kernel and linux kernel are so similar. I understand most of the userspace is different, but running in a different cgroups and in a different chroot should provide some help with it. Anybody had some success with that?

    • Sounds like it ought to be possible.

      Bedrock linux (a while back) seems to aim to allow several different distros to co-exist under the same kernel (i.e. no VM). That would seem like a reasonable approach. I guess the main thing is making an X11 based graphics driver for andriod so that it can display in a window.

  • ...a broken OS on a broken OS!

  • Yo dawg (Score:4, Funny)

    by bedouin (248624) on Friday January 25, 2013 @09:34PM (#42697809)

    I heard you like shitty operating systems that rip off Apple's ideas, so we . . .

  • but apple will probably just scrap osx for IOS, fucking all the pro OSX users along the way
    • for years (since day1) — you can run iOS on mac OSX — you get an iPad or iPhone simulated on your screen.

      just download the free XCode tools, and it includes the iOS simulator.

  • you mean like the iPad simulator that comes with the free XCode IDE for years..

    life must be gettin pretty good now.. ;-)

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