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Rovi, Myriad bring Android apps and content to almost any device

Android has shaped the current smartphone and apps market through its open development, and like all leaders, has imitators coming out of the woodwork

By PETER WHITE

Published: 17 February, 2011

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Android has shaped the current smartphone and apps market through its open development, and like all leaders, has imitators coming out of the woodwork. However the latest copycat combined with the latest support service could change the whole landscape of what it means to be an Android device.

Through Android, Google was able to drive a massive amount of developer effort to its platform, but it appears all that work can be harnessed by Google’s rivals. At CES, RIM said its PlayBook tablet could run any Android app, and now we’ve heard how. The QNX system that is the basis for the PlayBook’s OS can run Dalvik, the same virtual machine as Android, allowing apps to work across its platform as well.

Myriad, a mobile java company, is taking this idea to the next level, announcing "Alien Dalvik" that allows Android apps to run on a wide range of non-Google handsets, and possibly tablets too.

Its Dalvik implementations will open the Android experience to a cornucopia of feature phones, as well as some smartphones, but feature phones will be the main focus because they are key to Myriad’s Java apps business.

These feature phones will create "new revenue opportunities for mobile operators, OEMs and app store owners," said Myriad.

The industry has been searching for a true ‘write once, install everywhere’ platform and this new iteration of Dalvik seems to be a key to that future.

Myriad said that running Android apps on third-party operating systems will not compromise their performance and that they will run without any hiccups.

"From a user perspective, Alien Dalvik is completely transparent," said the company. Users will perceive them to be of the same quality as native apps. It appears as if some apps will be able to run completely unmodified, "allowing application store owners to quickly kick start Android application store services by simply repackaging Android Package (APK) files."

"The proliferation of Android has been staggering, but there is still room for growth. By extending Android to other platforms, we are opening up the market even further, creating new audiences and revenue opportunities," said Myriad CEO Simon Wilkinson.

Myriad’s announcement didn’t mention Rovi, and we doubt that it is looking to the digital home entertainment company for anything right now, but that’s exactly where everyone’s sights should be.

Around the time of Myriad’s announcement, Rovi announced plans to enable users to stream content from Android apps and devices to connected TVs, STBs and other smart devices.

Rovi said its Connected Platform technologies will be available pre-ported on Android, enabling users to share and stream entertainment content from their Android devices to a range of connected devices throughout the home.

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