WindowsAndroid Brings Ice Cream Sandwich To PCs, Running Natively On Windows Kernel

By Alexandra Burlacu email: a.burlacu@mobilenapps.com | Jan 27, 2013 10:20 AM EST

WindowsAndroid, as the name suggests, allows users to run Android 4.0 Ice cream Sandwich (ICS) on Windows PCs and tablets.

The app supports the Web browser, gallery, built-in software, and even some third-party apps, providing a full Android experience on Windows devices. Moreover, the WindowsAndroid app also packs the stock Android user interface (UI), a Dalvik virtual machine and graphics acceleration tool.

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Loading WindowsAndroid on a Windows-powered tablet or hybrid allows users to interact with Android via a touch screen, keyboard, or mouse. The app also comes in multiple screen resolutions that will adjust automatically according to the screen size of the device. On the other hand, although Google Play is easy to install, most paid apps in the market will appear as incompatible with the device.

Users can, however, side-load apps by placing the APK files in the \SocketeQ\windowsandroid_root\data\app directory and restarting the program. Note that in some cases this process may cause WindowsAndroid to crash. For now, the app should be regarded as a work in progress, but it does have real potential for future releases.

Those interested in trying out the WindowsAndroid app can request access to an early release build from SocketeQ. The app reportedly runs smoothly on the Windows operating system, and is not reliant on virtualization chains. The current ported version of Android ICS is 4.0.3, but a new version is under development.

Users can also integrate WindowsAndroid with Windows applications such as Flash and Windows Media Player. The app supports Ethernet and Point-to-Point-Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE), and makes it easy to use in either windowing or full-screen mode. WindowsAndroid also allows for windows scaling in windowing mode, as well as easy switching between the windowing/full-screen modes. Additional features include Android Framework/External projects porting, Hardware acceleration for Graphics subsystem, and IPC (binder) porting an optimization.

The app runs on Windows Vista, 7, and 8 exclusively. While the project initially started as an experiment with Android 2.1 and 2.3, it recently climbed to ICS and the team is currently working on porting Jelly Bean, but it's tough to say when that will happen. For more information and technical details of WindowsAndroid, check out SecketeQ's document (PDF).

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