It’s been a developer holy grail quest to write an application once, and deploy it across multiple platforms with little or no work to rewrite them for each platform. PhoneGap from Nitobi (recently bought by Adobe) is a popular cross-platform mobile framework that aims to solve this problem. Appcelerator’s Titanium framework is another. Now Alien Dalvik 2.0 from Myriad Group is adding its hat to the ring.
However, instead of being a mobile framework that developers use to code their apps once and deploy everywhere, Alien Dalvik 2.0 is a “wrapper” that allows the majority of unmodified Android package files (APKs) to run on non-Android platforms, such as iOS. So Android apps that have already been written using the Android software development kit won’t have to be rewritten.
But Myriad doesn’t want this functionality to be limited to iOS, or other mobile OSes. They also envision running the wrapped Android APKs on e-book readers, Smart TVs, in-car computing systems, and in-flight entertainment systems, for example. With this technology, Myriad hopes to provide a way for developers and hardware manufacturers to rally around one app standard to eliminate fragmentation concerns and more efficiently deploy apps across multiple devices and platforms.
It sounds like a nice idea, but there are real differences between Android and iOS interfaces that could jar users trying to put Android apps onto theand other Apple devices, like missing the stock Android buttons when on iOS. And it’s unclear just how Alien Dalvik 2.0 will account for all of the different screen sizes between Android, iOS, and all the other devices they want to deploy Android apps onto. Even between Gingerbread and Honeycomb devices, Android apps have issues with different screen sizes. Will everything just look like Android phone UI on larger screens?
Alien Dalvik 2.0 will not be an end-user product. Instead, OEMs are the target users for Alien Dalvik 2.0. It’s meant to be transparent to device users. The technology will be demonstrated at CTIA Enterprise and Applications 2011 event, coming up next month. It’ll be intriguing to see if/how the above questions are addressed in the demo.
Via The Next Web