Dave Courbanou

October 10, 2011

2 Min Read
Myriad Develops VM to Run Android Applications on iOS, iPad

Is this the first of many post-Jobsian era changes we’ll be seeing? Not likely, but thanks to Android development company Myriad, Alien Davik 2.0 has been ported to the iPad. Translation? Android applications now can run inside a mini virtual machine on your iPad (or presumably, any other iOS device). Read on for some mobile perspective and how this could affect the channel …

For the uninitiated, Dalvik is the virtual machine process that runs applications on Android devices. What Myriad has done is create a version that runs inside iOS. Essentially, a VM that runs a VM, Alien Dalvik 2.0, will actually allow Android applications to run without issue, oblivious that their zeros and ones exist on a device for which they were never intended.

Myriad plans to demo the unique application at the 2011 CTIA Enterprise and Applications event. There’s no word on whether Apple will approve this application, but if it passes the guidelines for Apple’s app store, (which it very well may, amid some more relaxed restrictions) it could see the light of day for the general public.

What does this mean for the channel, and the IT industry as a whole? It should be pretty obvious. There’s no longer a need for cross-platform development if you’re writing for Android. If Alien Dalvik makes it to the iPad officially, ISVs and VARs who are wondering which device to place their bets on as consumerization of IT plows on no longer will have a tough decision to make if they simply pick a business application that runs on Android. This could be a huge boost for Android developers and Google alike. But there is one slight snag. How many Android apps are out there for which there isn’t already a shinier, sexier iOS version? Anyone who has used both iOS and Android knows that iOS applications tend to have considerable more polish. But will that matter when it comes to a dollar sign? Maybe.

Other than companywide application compatibility, the real use case for Alien Dalvik on the iPad likely will be for those select applications that wouldn’t pass Apple App Store requirements but its developers still want to reach that audience. I see it as a ‘sanctioned’ jailbreak store.

Again, this is is pure conjecture, assuming that Apple approves the Android virtualization app. It doing so has the potential to change the mobile landscape. Even though the BlackBerry PlayBook had this feature, the PlayBook didn’t have the same audience. I’ll be interested to see how many Android apps are enjoyed by iOS fans, if at all.

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