Windows Apps on Android, Android on BlackBerry, and an Ubuntu Phone
At the FOSDEM open source conference in Brussels, Alexandre Julliard announced that Windows emulator Wine is being ported to the Android platform. Wine emulates Windows by redirecting Win32 API calls to their Linux equivalents, making the application think it is running on the Windows operating system. Wine is offered under the LGPL license by CodeWeavers, who also offer a commercial version called CrossOver.
While Windows applications are probably not useful on phones, Jon Brodkin of Ars Technica speculates that Wine may find a role in Android based tablets, PCs, or thin clients.
The BackBerry Z10 comes with support for Android, but there are problems with it. First, it only supports Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). While most Android apps still support this version of the platform, that won’t last for much longer. Another problem is that the Android developer has to be convinced that it is worth his time to submit the application to BlackBerry World, the BlackBerry app store. Finally, it is an emulator. And according to Joshua Topolsky of The Verge, it isn’t a very good one with both performance and consistency problems.
At BlackBerry Jam Europe, it was announced that the BlackBerry will be (eventually) updated to support Android 4.1 (Jellybean). No word on whether or not they’ll fix the performance at the same time. Though to be fair, other users have claimed that Android apps on the Z10 are quite responsive so perhaps the problem is app specific.
Finally in our round-up, there is the announcement of an Ubuntu based phone. This news comes from Mark Shuttleworth of Canonical, who claims smartphones running Ubuntu will be available in October. At this point there is no word on manufacturers, carriers, or even a mockup of the UI.