Alien Dalvik brings Android apps to other platforms

The software, which will be demonstrated at Mobile World Congress 2011, could allow non-Android smartphones to run Android apps with little modification

Mobile software specialist Myriad is preparing to launch new software that allows non-Android-based smartphones to run apps designed for Google's mobile operating system.

Android apps on smartphones

Alien Dalvik software would allow non-Google smartphones to run Android apps. Photo credit: Google

The software, known as Alien Dalvik, will allow non-Android operating systems to run Android Package (APK) files with little modification, the company said in an announcement on Tuesday.

"The proliferation of Android has been staggering, but there is still room for growth," said Simon Wilkinson, chief executive of the Myriad Group, in a statement. "By extending Android to other platforms, we are opening up the market even further, creating new audiences and revenue opportunities."

In order to run Android apps on operating systems with the Alien Dalvik software installed, operators and app store owners will simply need to repackage Android APK files, Myriad said.

MeeGo will be the first OS to support Alien Dalvik — a relation of the Dalvik virtual machine that is included in stock Android software — and Myriad says that it will announce further platform support in the coming months. The company said that, by supporting the Android Market and apps, operators, manufacturers and app store owners will be able to generate new revenue streams and attract new customers.

By extending Android to other platforms, we are opening up the market even further, creating new audiences and revenue opportunities

– Simon Wilkinson, Myriad Group

"From a user perspective, Alien Dalvik is completely transparent. [Alien Dalvik] applications appear as native and can be seamlessly installed on device... All the user sees is that he now has access to a wider range of applications, thus encouraging a higher frequency of downloads," Myriad said.

Myriad plans to demonstrate Alien Dalvik running on a Nokia N900 at Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona.

At the end of January, rumours circulated online suggesting that Research in Motion (RIM) is considering running the Dalvik virtual machine on its upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, which could allow Android apps to run on the QNX platform. RIM has not confirmed the rumours.

Google is currently engaged in a court case over its implementation of the Dalvik virtual machine in Android. Oracle has claimed that the search giant directly copied code contained within the OS from Oracle-patented software.

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