Feeds

Android goes virtual

Prepared to be assimilated

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality
Oettinger all about the infrastructure – but not big on substance
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.