Android apps running on your iPad? Alien Dalvik makes it possible.
In case you’re not familiar with Alien Dalvik, it’s a port of the Dalvik virtual machine, which is the software layer in Google’s Android operating system responsible for executing Android apps. According to SlashGear, the Myriad Group (the brains behind the Alien Dalvik project) announced support for Apple’s iPad in Alien Dalvik version 2.0.
As a result, the unimaginable (even unholy) becomes possible: You’ll be able to download, install and run Android software on your Apple-branded tablet. Alien Dalvik wraps each Android app file in its own virtual machine so it kinda feels as if you were running a native iPad app. The Myriad Group explains:
From a user perspective, Alien Dalvik 2.0 is completely transparent and installed without user disruption. Users simply enjoy the same rich Android ecosystem they have become accustomed to via mobile on other key screens, such as playing Angry Birds on HDTV. This all while gaining faster access to a wider range of apps, thus encouraging a higher frequency of downloads and increased ARPU.
We assume performance isn’t comparable to the experience of running native iOS apps on an iPad 2 and we’re surely expecting some hiccups and likely compatibility issues. With that in mind, this development begs the question: Why would you want to run Android apps on your iPad?
Apple’s iOS software boss Scott Forstall said at Monday’s iPhone 4S introduction that about 140,000 out of the 500,000 apps available on the App Store have been specifically created with iPad in mind. Android apps also aren’t as pretty or delightful as their iOS counterparts. But the fact that most are either free or ad-supported should mean something so we expect some folks will give Alien Dalvik a try. Stay tuned as the team promised to show off Alien Dalvik 2.0 running third-party Android apps on iPad 2 at CTIA 2011 next week.
Alien Dalvik is available on several platforms other than Android, including Nokia’s MeeGo-driven N9 smartphone. The team has big plans as they’ve embarked on porting Alien Dalvik to a wide variety of devices spanning set-top boxes, television sets, smartphones and tablets. The N9 smartphone can run Android apps pretty nicely even though the performance reportedly doesn’t cut it compared to the native experience on Android-powered handsets. Alien Dalvik should have come to Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, but RIM had opted for their own “app player” instead.
Cross-posted on 9to5Google.com.