Canonical launches high performance Android services on the cloud

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Canonical, the creators of Ubuntu Linux, are going to build an Android app platform on top of an Ubuntu-based cloud. That cloud will be called the Anbox cloud, and should make it possible to build more demanding Android apps.

Among other things, high-end games for large smartphones should be delivered on the platform. Google’s Stadia streaming platform is an example of a similar approach. According to ZDNet, the success of such streaming services depends on the availability of 4G LTE, as well as the speed of development of 5G and edge computing.

With the Anbox Cloud, developers can build graphical and memory-intensive mobile games and other applications. These apps must then be able to be scaled up to a large number of users. In addition, they need to offer responsiveness and low latency at the same time, which gamers need in order to play properly. So instead of downloading a game, Android games are played in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) mode.

Containerisation

Canonical states that the platform is based on a number of different company technologies. For example, containerised Android apps are run on the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS kernel. Containerisation is provided by insulated LXD system containers. For Anbox service providers, this means that they get an application density twice as high as running Android apps in VMs.

These containerised Android devices work with mobile devices via a local client application. A custom plugin has been optimized to handle the data exchange between the client applications and Android instances. The input is forwarded to the Android instance and the graphical output is returned to the client to be displayed on the device.