Windows apps on Android will soon be a reality

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If you have an iPhone, you're stuck with running iOS apps; if you have an Android phone, you're stuck with Android apps. At least that used to be the case. For desktop platforms such as OS X and Linux, tools and emulators exist that make it possible to run software designed for a different platform. CodeWeavers produce CrossOver which enables PC games and applications to run on non-PC platforms.

At the moment, CrossOver is available for Mac and Linux, but there are plans to bring the tool to Android. This means that, ultimately, it should be possible to run Windows software on an Android phone or tablet.

CrossOver is based on WINE -- the open source compatibility layer that is most definitely not an emulator -- and a preview of the Android version has been announced. It's not available just yet, but CrossOver for Android will be available as a 'technology preview' by the end of the year. CodeWeavers says that the preview will require an Android tablet with an Intel processor, and suggests that at least 2GB of RAM "is necessary to run most real-world Windows applications".

It's unlikely that this project will see your Android tablet replacing your desktop computer or laptop, but it does herald a time of true cross-platform compatibility. With Windows 10, Microsoft has created a unified code base that means apps can be run on any Windows 10 device -- that pool of devices is about to expand further.

If you’re interested in trying out CrossOver for Android as soon as possible, sign up for the preview over on the CodeWeavers website.

Photo credit: motttive / Shutterstock

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