CrossOver for Android promises Windows app compatibility, but only on Intel

Long-awaited Windows emulation app for Android is finally available for early beta testing, but with no support for ARM devices, its audience is likely to be small

CrossOver for Android promises Windows app compatibility, but only on Intel
OdinsTests via YouTube and Kaz via Pixabay

Codeweavers, maker of the CrossOver app that allows Windows applications to run on Mac OS X and Linux, has announced a preview program of the new edition of CrossOver for Intel-based Chromebooks and Android tablets.

CrossOver for Android has been in development for "two years, nine months, two weeks, and a day," according to Codeweavers. Don't expect it to run all Windows apps out of the gate, but the company states it will run many popular titles, like Steam and Office 2010.

At the heart of CrossOver is the Wine project, an emulation layer for Linux that translates Windows system calls into their Linux equivalents. Windows does the same in reverse -- maps Linux calls to Windows -- for its new Linux subsystem. Wine has been in development since 1993 and has been kept up-to-date to support such items as 64-bit applications.

CrossOver for Android appears to be derived from the earlier CrossOver for Linux product. As the company states, "If the application is not supported on CrossOver Linux, it will not be supported (out of the box) on CrossOver Android."

Don't expect too much from CrossOver for Android at first. For starters, ARM-based Chromebooks or Android devices will not run the app; it's Intel-only for now. The company hopes to have ARM Android support "sometime next year," but isn't promising anything.

Also, many applications may not run on Chromebooks or Android devices simply because they aren't robust enough in terms of CPU or available memory. Codeweaver maintains a list of apps known to work well with CrossOver, but doesn't track details about minimum memory or CPU requirements for those apps.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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