Run Windows apps on your Android device with Wine 3.0
Despite most outward appearances, Microsoft and Google are inching toward a cozier relationship as the two work on similar if not exact collaborative projects such as the expansion of Progressive Web Apps.
Even when Microsoft and Google aren’t working official piloted projects, their respective users are constantly finding ways to merge the two into a more convenient workflow for themselves. Take, for instance, the release of Wine 3.0 which enables Android users to run apps mainly designed for Windows 7 on top of a handful of devices.
As with most workarounds, the folks at Android Police posted some developer notes warning of several issues users might encounter when applying Wine 3.0:
Since Wine for Android is in its early days, there are several major limitations right now. The app only fully opened on my OnePlus 5T – it crashed on my Galaxy Tab S and froze on my 2016 Pixel. The DPI scaling is also very buggy, and it’s difficult to use on a touchscreen. The graphics driver doesn’t support Direct3D yet, so many programs (especially games) won’t work at all unless you can force them to use OpenGL.
Wine is only a compatibility layer, and not a full-blown emulator,
so you’ll need an x86 Android device to take full advantage of it. Wine does support ARM devices, but you can only use programs that were ported to Windows RT. You can find a few examples here. The Wine project is working on using QEMU to emulate x86 CPU instructions on ARM, but that’s not complete yet.
It is early days and it’s taken some time for Wine to appear for Android, but the merging of Android and Windows seems to be something people are in the market for, especially as Chromebooks continue to rise in minds share. Where a solution such as this leaves Microsoft seems to be in a bit of a quagmire until their low cost and always connected partnered devices flood the market to compete with Chromebooks presence amongFurther reading: Android Police, Chromebook, Google, Microsoft