CrossOver for Android on Chromebooks run Windows apps, games

JC Torres - Jul 18, 2016, 3:30am CDT
CrossOver for Android on Chromebooks run Windows apps, games

In the future, a Chromebook might be the only computing device you’ll ever need. Well, maybe together with a mid-range smartphone. Google has recently added official and fast-running Android app support to at least three Chromebooks and, unsurprisingly, some people are taking that to the extreme. Take for example the folks at CrossWeaver, developers of the CrossOver software, who just successfully got a game launched from a Windows version of Steam running through the Android version of CrossOver running on Chrome OS on a Chromebook. Yes, OS-ception at its finest.

Of course, this isn’t really magic but the fruit of multiple layers of software that, in effect, make software from different operating systems run on another operating system, to some extent. For example, CrossOver is based on WINE (“Windows Is Not an Emulator”), an open source project that lets some Windows apps run on Unix-based operating systems like Linux, BSD and macOS. But while WINE is a more generic compatibility layer, CrossOver focuses on certain classes of software, particularly Microsoft Office and Windows games.

The other part of the equation is probably one that many Chromebook users already know. Google announced that it was bring Android apps in full force to Chromebooks and already started that rollout with the ASUS Chromebook Flip, Acer Chromebook R11, and Google Chromebook Pixel (2015). As luck would have it, CrossWeaver is developing a version of CrossOver to run on Android. Combine all those together and all hell breaks loose.

So that’s a Windows Steam game running via an Android app running on Chrome OS. Of course, it’s not yet a perfect situation, as there are still compatibility issues with CrossOver/WINE. Not all Windows software run at all, and those that do don’t always run at their best. And it really only works with Intel-based Chromebooks. Still, it does present interesting opportunities for the future when these pieces evolve even further.

SOURCE: CrossWeaver


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