Android apps to run in UT?

  • Infrastructure


    The Jedi side of mobile devices: It´s easy to fall for the dark side. Just because it´s convenient. Just because everyone else uses it, and I want to be like everyone else. Just because it´s hopeless to resist. In fact, human beings are just used to follow trends as this increases the chance of surviving.

    But from time to time there are people that want to be different. Sometimes they fail over and over again, but still the dont give up. So lets try to be different, and not start with what is not possible. Think about what IS possible today, and be positive.

    The more we start to try to be similar, just in a different way the more we will fail. Chance does not come from being similar, it comes from being different.

    That said, lets hope for Anbox. :)


  • Also one should remember that not all Android apps are proprietary. There is in fact a huge amount of free software available as Android apps, as well as all the bits and pieces used to run those apps are all free software. So I don't think the point of relating Anbox to proprietary and non-free software is in any way valid.

  • @ZeroPointEnergy said in Android apps to run in UT?:

    Also one should remember that not all Android apps are proprietary. There is in fact a huge amount of free software available as Android apps, as well as all the bits and pieces used to run those apps are all free software. So I don't think the point of relating Anbox to proprietary and non-free software is in any way valid.

    But anyone can port those free Android apps (if they're truly free) to UBports, that's not the problem. The problem is when someone wants to run proprietary software and the developer company of that software does, and will do, anything to keep that software under its control.

  • It is not that simple. Android apps are written in Java against a completely different API. To port such an app to QT means a complete rewrite of the app. From what I understand, the idea of Anbox is to simply provide this APIs and the dalvik jvm in a chroot/container. All free software, it just allows you to run apps written for the Android userland on a system with a regular GNU userland.

    This has all absolutely nothing to do with the problem of proprietary software. In fact there where quite a few proprietary apps in the Ubuntu store which where native apps running in the GNU userland.

    The important thing here is that the OS is all free software and that the choice to give up your freedom by using proprietary software is one the user can make because he has this freedom which comes with the full control over his device in the first place. This is true with and without Anbox.

    Now I recognise that the possibility to run Android apps will increase the probability that users run proprietary software on UT simply because it makes them available to the user. But they would run it anyway if they really need it but probably on a OS which does not respect the freedom of the user and may spy on you. So if they run it on UT instead of a stock Android full of proprietary spyware they at least gain control over the device they own.

    For the people who want to stick to free software only, Anbox opens access to a lot more free software than they would have on UT with native apps only. This could make a big difference to make UT a viable choice as a device for them.

    I also don't think this will in any way discourage people from writing native apps. The true power of UT is that it has a full GNU userland with all the tools people are used to from the desktop. But from what I see there has to be a lot of work to be done to make developing native apps viable for mere mortals again.

    Sorry for the wall of text :-)


    je pense que l'on ne devrait pas penser qu'a soi, je m'explique si je m'écoute. Je veux ceci mais pas celà??????? UT doit être riche en application pour qu'il dure. La plupare des personnes qui ont un téléphonet, c'est qu'il soit complémentaire de notre pc .
    Le fait d'avoir un UT avec des applicationt,s Android apporte à UT une plus vallue et c'est Plutôt positif. Libre à chacun de les installer et puis si l'on veux la tranquillité alors revenez sur notre bon Nokia 3310 il fait téléphone et SMS 🤓😂

    I think that one should not think that to itself, I explain to myself if I listen. I want this but not that ??????? UT must be rich in application for it to last. The plupare of people who have a phone is that it is complementary to our pc.
    Having a UT with Android apps brings UT a more valley and it's pretty positive. Free of all installed and then if one wants the tranquility then come back on our good Nokia 3310 it does phone and SMS

  • @advocatux said in Android apps to run in UT?:

    @jamesp said in Android apps to run in UT?:

    Internet browser hardly compares to this. Anyone can make browser and no problems with that, but when it comes to closed proprietary software people are using and software company has no interest to make app for UT so you have to do what you must like it was with wine.

    It has everything to compare it to. Maybe you're too young to remember it, but everybody was grabbed by Internet Explorer and ActiveX.

    No, it wasn't an easy task to convince people that another way to do things were possible. But they did it.

    And yes, people thought they can't live without ActiveX the same way some people think there's no life outside some walled gardens.

    No, i member well the rise of internet, and i used Netscape, IE and Opera and Firefox when they came around.

    I never encountered ActiveX elsewhere except IP surveillance cameras and one ActiveX one was bought just last year. Don't remember anything else needing that.

    Anyways there is shitload of great useful apps that we will never see UT native version and is pretty much impossible to remake or replace.

  • @Flohack said in Android apps to run in UT?:

    Anbox appeared ( so there are guys who will try the same, maybe even in a better way.

    That's interesting. Maybe it can be seamless integrated in Yunit in a similar way that X11 apps are integrated :\

  • Banned

    From todays blog entry:

    What’s happening with Anbox?

    We definitely want Android App compatibility, but it is not our highest priority for the moment. Since there’s so much to be done, it will also probably not land for 15.04, but we’re looking forward to playing around with it on the soon-to-come 16.04 images. It is important to point out here, that we still need top push for native apps. Anbox will just be a way of getting crucial android apps that don’t exist on Ubuntu Touch otherwise to run, similar to Wine on the Linux Desktop. The experience will probably not be the same, but it will help eliminate the immediate need. Apps like WhatsApp, Snapchat or Netflix will probably not be ported to Ubuntu Touch, so it makes sense to run them in Anbox if it’s possible.

    Why is Anbox needed? Can’t you just use Dalvik from the Android container?

    It’s not that simple. This would require us to build compatibility with the Mir display server and all of the userland, it doesn’t work like that.

    Also, we don’t want to be android! We want Ubuntu Touch to be a GNU/Linux distribution for mobile devices, the Android container is just the way for us to get hardware access and we don’t want features to depend on it.

  • Can i run a mobile recorder in UT? Is it possible?

  • @vondes, I hope not.

  • @advocatux said in Android apps to run in UT?:

    @vondes, I hope not.


  • In my opinion,
    the community must grow up if we want ubuntu touch stay alive.
    Run android app's on touch device = more potential users.
    More users = more funds, more idea for touch, more app's developper.

    If the ubuntu phone was be able to run the android app's when they was sold, Many people in my entourage would have let themselves be convinced and would currently be under ubuntu touch.

  • @janvi said in Android apps to run in UT?:

    Run android app's on touch device = more potential users.

    No, not really. We need to develop a solid and coherent OS. With more privacy and freedom than any other phone. That's our best sales argument.

    If someone wants to run android apps, he or she has android phones for that. If they want more privacy they'll get a LineageOS phone.

    Has your "entourage" android phones or LineageOS ones? I bet they have the former. If you try to convince that kind of user they'll be always complaining because they don't have the whole android experience.

    Je pense que UT est un logiciel libre et c'est justement sa liberté qui en fait un OS formidable et le fait de pouvoir installer tout Applications même venu d'autre OS est un signe fort pour UT qui se démarquera des autres. Il sera tellement populaire car il n'y a pas de publicité qu'en on ouvre une application qu'il en est agréable. Et le fait de pouvoir ouvrir des applications Androïde ne gêne en rien au choix du propriétaire de les installer ou pas.

    I think UT is free software and it's precisely its freedom that makes it a great OS and being able to install any applications even from other OS is a strong sign for UT that will stand out from others. It will be so popular because there is no advertising that when one opens an application it is nice. And the fact of being able to open Android applications does not hinder the choice of the owner to install them or not.

  • @Locamama said in Android apps to run in UT?:

    It will be so popular because there is no advertising

    An android app can have ads embedded.

  • It looks like andbox could be a good solution to everybody. I don't think (and technically must be impossible) it would be necessary to run Android apps natively, but having them run in a container like andbox could be fine in most of the cases. In my case it would be good to run some apps provided by my municipality or other entities, I don't think they will never release a native app for UT, and they will not release access to their databases to write such an app ourselves.

    Everything that could be developed as a native app for UT should be developed, of course.

  • @wgarcia said in Android apps to run in UT?:

    It looks like andbox could be a good solution to everybody.

    If somebody wants to work on it, more power to them (it won't be me). Please make sure it's an optional part, so I can leave it out of my own phone. If it was decided to make the Android part mandatory for core functions (texting, phone calls, camera, etc.) I would become much less interested in this OS.

  • @vandys Of course andbox never can be come a mandatory part of the system, it is just a sandbox, if it ever works, to run non-native applications. Like Wine in Linux, it you need an Android app for your job and you can run it in andbox you may carry a UT phone around, otherwise maybe you can't, unless you run around with two phones. But I would never advocate to make apk executable files native in UT.

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