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WayDroid lets you run Android apps on Linux phones (with smoother performance than Anbox)

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Gadgets

Smartphones are basically pocket-sized computers running mobile-friendly operating systems. And folks who want to run a free and open source GNU/Linux distribution on their phones get the advantages of a hackable, customizable OS that can run desktop Linux applications as well as mobile apps.

But the selection of mobile-optimized Linux apps is still rather small, which is why some folks have been using tools like Anbox to run Android applications on Linux phones. But now there’s a new work-in-progress alternative to Anbox called WayDroid which offers smoother performance on supported devices.

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WayDroid: Running Android Apps On Linux Phones Just Got Smoother

  • WayDroid: Running Android Apps On Linux Phones Just Got Smoother

    It’s been a while since Linux smartphones have stepped foot in the market, and as you might’ve guessed, they’re not very popular, thanks to Android and iOS already dominating the market. People are yet to try them out, and most smartphones are either very cheap and lacking in specs like the PinePhone, or expensive with two generations old hardware like the F(X)tec Pro.

    But there is one problem developers need to take care of, and that is Android app support. For starters, to run Android apps on Linux, Anbox was being used, but it was comparatively slower than WayDroid. However, postmarketOS developer Caleb, on July 24, shared a screenshot of his OnePlus 6 running what looks like an Android emulator running LineageOS smoothly.

WayDroid can run Android apps on Linux without slowdowns

  • WayDroid can run Android apps on Linux without slowdowns

    There are many ways to run Android apps on desktop computers. Desktop emulators like BlueStacks are popular, you could run Android x86 in a virtual machine (or dual-boot it), or you could wait for Windows 11’s Android app compatibility layer. Anbox is another solution for running Android apps, intended to support Linux and Linux-based smartphones, but it suffers from slow performance on low-power devices. Now there’s another project that aims to bring Android apps to Linux devices, but without the slowdowns and jank commonly found with Anbox.

    WayDroid (via Linux Smartphones), formerly called Anbox-Halium, is a rebuilt version of Anbox that is designed to use more of the host device’s native hardware than Anbox — which means faster performance. The project’s main focus is running Android apps on Halium-based Linux phones (Halium is similar in concept to Android’s GSI, but for standard Linux), but it can also run on any devices with a mainline Linux kernel.

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