There are millions of Android apps on the Google Play Store, and if you want to try them out you can run them on your Linux desktop. It’s a nice way to experience mobile applications without the hassle of installing debugging bridges or having to sideload APK files that come from unauthorized sources.
One of the best ways to try out an Android app on your Linux system is using the Android Emulator in the Android Studio IDE. The emulator runs on any x86-compatible Linux, Windows or macOS machine and has an integrated development environment (IDE) that you can use to write Android code and debug it.
Android is a mobile operating system for phones and tablets that runs on ARM-based chips and uses Java. It has an open source framework and APIs that support the development of apps that use the platform’s capabilities.
The SDK includes tools that enable you to compile and deploy the apps you create to the Android Marketplace. Some of these tools are included in the IDE and others must be downloaded separately.
There are also a number of different software packages that allow you to run Android apps on linux systems. The most popular is Anbox, which is a containerized version of the Android operating system that uses LXCv technology to segregate the Android OS from the Linux kernel.
Another option is Waydroid, which uses a similar approach but runs the Android OS closer to the hardware of your Linux device. This means that it can perform better and run more apps than Anbox.
Waydroid is based on LineageOS, which is one of the best de-googled versions of Android. It also supports a wide range of languages, including Java and Kotlin.
It also has a snap package manager that makes it easy to install the various language and library packages you need for Android development on your Linux system. If you’re already using Ubuntu, this can be a great option to get your mobile app development started on Linux.
ARC Welder, or App Runtime for Chrome, is a browser extension that lets you run Android apps on your Linux desktop or laptop. It works by launching a virtual machine that resembles a smartphone with the help of an Android Emulator installed in your web browser.
SPURV, or ‘Simple Portable Virtualized Apps for the Linux Desktop’, is an experimental project that aims to let you run Android apps on a Wayland-based Linux desktop. It’s the work of UK-based Collabora, and it’s a promising step forward for bringing Android apps to the Linux desktop.
The project isn’t perfect, and there are still a few bugs to iron out, but it does a good job of demonstrating what’s possible. Ultimately, it could become a tool that lets you test new Android app releases before they’re made available in the Google Play Store. It could even become the default option for running Android apps on Linux desktops.