Canonical debuts Anbox Cloud for highly scalable Android apps

Canonical Ltd. has come up with a way to distribute compute-intensive applications from the cloud so they can run seamlessly on low-powered Android devices.

The solution, announced early today, is a platform called Anbox Cloud. It uses Android as a guest operating system to containerize workloads so they can easily be distributed from the cloud, where they run, to any kind of mobile device.

“The ability to offload compute, storage and energy-intensive applications from devices to the cloud enables end-users to consume advanced workloads by streaming them directly to their device,” Canonical noted in its pitch. “Developers can deliver an on-demand application experience through a platform that provides more control over performance and infrastructure costs, with the flexibility to scale based on user demand.”

The basic idea is that Anbox Cloud makes it possible to run any application on any kind of Android device, regardless of that hardware’s compute capabilities. Canonical says use cases include cloud gaming, enterprise workplace applications, software testing and mobile device virtualization.

For example, Anbox Cloud can scale graphics- and memory-intensive mobile games to thousands of devices while ensuring the responsiveness and low latency gamers demand. It’s similar to Google LLC’s new cloud video game streaming service Stadia in that it does away with the need to download the game onto the device. Instead, the game runs in the cloud where it has access to all of the compute resources it needs.

Canonical is also pitching Anbox Cloud as a way for developers to emulate “thousands of Android devices” across various test scenarios and to integrate their apps into continuous integration/continuous development or CI/CD pipelines.

 

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