Google Acquires Android Gaming Emulator LeapDroid

As an open platform, Android can run many practical applications which closed ecosystems usually don't allow. One of the most popular types of these apps are emulators, mobile software which allows your device to act as another computer system. While emulators have many applications, mobile users are mostly interested in them for gaming purposes, and that's precisely why a plethora of gaming emulators are currently available on the Google Play Store. In addition to that, there's also a market for PC Android emulators which allow you to run Android apps outside of their native hardware environment. The latest such software was the gaming-focused LeapDroid which officially launched this summer. In a surprising turn of events, LeapDroid developers have just announced that they'll be joining Google in the near future and are stopping both development and support of their product for the time being.

In a short statement published earlier this month, LeapDroid founders Huan Ren and Huihong Luo described this move as an exciting next phase in their journey but added that it's still too early to reveal any specifics regarding the acquisition. Speaking of which, Google's latest purchase doesn't seem to include the actual software Ren and Luo have been developing since 2015 as the LeapDroid FAQ page states that the emulator is not affiliated with Google. While developers discontinued official support, existing users can still enjoy the latest version of LeapDroid as long as it's able to pass the Android Compatibility Test.

From the wording of their statement, it seems that Ren and Luo will continue to develop related technology at Google. Given their background and experience, it's possible that Google is planning to put a larger focus on Android gaming experiences on Chromebooks as more and more of them are receiving Play Store support. The Mountain View-based tech giant recently revealed that the ongoing Play Store expansion is an important part of its long-term strategy to help Android developers reach more customers. Seeing how games are the most popular type of apps out there, it would make sense for Google to dedicate more resources to making them as playable as possible on Chromebooks. In any case, we should know more soon as LeapDroid developers revealed they're excited to tell us more about their upcoming projects in the near future.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]