Android is getting a whole lot of interest lately, and a whole lot of “why can’t I run it on my desktop. A better question is why would you want to run it on your desktop?
While Google Android is built on the Linux kernel, all of the applications for the mobile operating system actually run on Google’s custom Java runtime. In other words, Google Android doesn’t run most native Linux applications, and most Linux distributions can’t run Google Android apps… yet. But Canonical is working on software that would allow Google Android programs to run natively on Ubuntu Linux.
Google’s Android platform is well-suited for phones and maybe tablets, but isn’t targeted for, nor ready for netbooks. After all, would you really want to run the iPhone version of Safari or the Windows Mobile version of Word on your desktop computer when there are far better word processors and web browsers designed for desktop operating systems? It’s a matter of resources available at the point of use, and there is no point restricting yourself to limits if it’s not necessary.
But in the long run, running Android on Ubuntu could expand the developer community for both Ubuntu and Google Android. If you develop an app for one, it probably would not be that much work to get it to run on the other. The move could also make it much easier to come up with ways to synchronize the data on mobile devices running Google Android with a desktop computer running Ubuntu.
Development is still in the early phases, so it’s possible that the whole project could lead nowhere. But the screenshot above (grabbed from Scott James Remnant’s Twitpic stream) of Google Android programs running on a machine with Ubuntu Netbook Remix installed certainly suggests a world of possibilities. And on that I think we could all agree, expoanding the developer space is a good thing.