In most company acquisitions, there’s always fears of the new owners mercilessly axing the newly acquired company’s product. That might look like the case with LeapDroid, but it’s different in two significant ways. First, it is only the developers, not LeapDroid itself that has been “acquired” by Google. And second, it is the developers themselves that have decided to ditch LeapDroid. This has the effect of practically killing an Android emulator for PCs that, just a few months ago, boasted to be the fastest in the market.
There is no shortage of Android emulators out there, with Bluestacks probably the most popular, so the death of LeapDroid might not have even made a sound if not for the rather bold claim it made last July and why they’re suddenly shutting down.
When LeapDroid landed on the scene, it claimed to be the “most powerful Android game player” on PCs. Its benchmarks showed how it outclassed its peers in games, admittedly the most taxing type of Android apps. Naturally, it didn’t spill the beans on how it accomplished that, only claiming some specialized LeapGL and Virt Fiber I/O techs, but there must have been some truth to it if Google took notice.
That said, co-founders Huan Ren and Huihong Luo only said they were joining Google, not exactly that Google tripped over to hire them. Even more curious, LeapDroid itself isn’t part of that newfound relationship with Google. Not only does it remain not part of Google, it has also been officially discontinued, less than four months after its announcement.
Without any confirmation, not even “insider information”, we can only read between the lines. Google might have interests in the technology LeapDroid uses, but would conflict with LeapDroid if the emulator were to continue existing separately from Google. As to what Google plans to do with that technology, one can only speculate as well. The emulation technology could be used in many places, including improving Android Studio’s own emulator. Or it could be used to improve how Android apps run on other platforms, like Windows or, better yet, Chrome OS.