Feeds

Android goes virtual

Prepared to be assimilated

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

As of today, Myriad's Dalvik virtual machine can run any Android application on the Maemo-based Nokia N900, with other platforms to follow soon.

The idea is to get manufacturers to preinstall Alien Dalvik, as the company calls its virtual machine, or licence the VM to developers who can bundle it with their applications.

It enables an unmodified Android app to be sold as a MeeGo app, complete with installer and native icon, rather than trying to port apps to competing platforms - making every smartphone an Android-compatible smartphone (except the iPhone of course).

Given Dalvik's Java heritage it's not very surprising that a portable VM is possible. Android applications are compiled into byte code that runs in a virtual machine, even on Android devices, so porting that virtual machine to another operating system shouldn't be a huge challenge. Myriad appears to have made a decent job of it.

Right now Alien Dalvik is limited to the Meamo platform, though MeeGo will come very soon and there's nothing (except Apple's obstructiveness) to prevent the emulator being ported to other platforms, which could make Android the only platform worth developing for.

Except that we've been here before - Java was supposed to work this way, but lacked key functionality, and Java followed numerous virtualised programming environments that were supposed to nullify platform dependencies. Dalvik is very functional, but it's hard to imagine it replacing native development.

Still, as a wrapper for those who don't want to port their applications it makes sense, especially if the performance remains so directly comparable to native apps. Alien Dalvik might not render other platforms obsolete - in fact it could help them by ensuring the most popular Android apps are rapidly made available across the board. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms firm here
Is goTenna tech a goer? Time to grill CEO, CTO
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.