Wine, the compatibility layer for Windows programs, is now available for Android with x86 chipsets
Ever wish you could run full-blown Windows applications on your Android device? Now you can…sort of. Wine, a Windows compatibility layer for Unix-like operating systems, has been updated to version 3.0—and can now be installed on Android devices.
Wine 3.0 implements a full graphics and audio driver for Android, and can be built as an APK package that acts like a regular Android app, according to the release notes. It also supports OpenGL, though it’s limited to the OpenGL ES API available on Android.
It won’t run your standard Windows applications on just any Android device, though. Wine isn’t an emulator, which means you’ll need an x86 Android tablet, smartphone, or Chromebook to take full advantage of it. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many Android devices with x86 chipsets out there, though the growing list of Chromebooks with ARC support is promising.
For the vast majority of us with an Android device with an ARM-based SoC, there is a silver lining. Wine for ARM devices does exist, but only Windows programs that have been ported to Windows RT, Microsoft’s 32-bit operating system for ARM architectures, will function.