CrossOver Brings Windows Apps To Intel Android Devices

The ARM architecture is the base for the processor in almost all Android devices these days, from tablets to phones, and a lot of Chromebooks as well. ARM is powerful, yet energy-efficient, and features a more sparse instruction set than a traditional x86 processor. The x86 processor architecture, however, is much more instruction-heavy, powerful, and versatile than ARM, and special low-power versions, like the Intel Celeron and Atom, have found their way into various Android and Chrome OS devices over the years. Many of these same devices, such as the ASUS ZenFone 2, have long been capable of booting up Windows, though often with missing drivers and other issues that make the OS far from desirable as a daily driver for these devices. Those that want to run Windows apps on such devices however, may soon have an alternative to installing the OS.

CrossOver, a derivative of the open-source Wine project by a company called CodeWeavers, has been helping Mac and Linux users to run Windows programs and games on their computers for years, and are now working on bringing that same capability to Android and Chrome devices, so long as they have the right processor inside. The app is still in its very early stages, and depends on Android app support for Chrome devices. So far, the team has achieved DirectX 9 support, along with a few basic drivers. The app is for Android, and will only run on Chrome OS devices that support Android apps.

A demo shows the app running on an Acer Chromebook R11. The Steam gaming marketplace is launched, then a game is launched through it. The game in question, Limbo, is a fairly basic indie affair, though with DirectX 9 support, some older games and emulators may work. While you shouldn't expect to run Crysis or Bioshock on your Chromebook just yet, the app is always improving and Nvidia's Vulcan API could come into the picture in the future, so there is hope. No official announcement has yet been made on that subject, of course. Windows apps on Intel-based Chromebooks without Android support can be run through Crouton and Wine, but CrossOver is a more streamlined solution and will be much easier for the average user to take advantage of, and of course, boasts compatibility with Intel-based Android devices.

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Daniel Fuller

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, voice assistants, AI technology development, and hot gaming news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]
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