To me, applications like this one are really important for school students. I bought my first significant Android the same year I began my Physics degree at my university, and immediately I realised how tremendously helpful it was. From accurate graphing applications to TI emulators (don't judge me, the real thing costs crazy amounts here!), passing through giants like Wolfram and MATLAB Mobile, there were a lot of tools for one to excel with. In fact, I'd say that without Android I wouldn't have chosen...
C#: The Future of Android?
With that realization Xamarin, makers of the open-source and cross-platform mobile .NET application development platform Mono, sat down almost a year ago to look at the Android platform and see what could be done to improve battery life and Android application performance. Eventually their team came to the conclusion that C# offered a more robust base than Java, with fewer coding limitations and faster performance. In their words:
Over and over we came back to the basics: Dalvik is a young virtual machine, it is not as performant or tuned as Mono and suffers from many of Java’s performance limitations without the benefit of the high-end optimizations from Oracle’s HotSpot. One crazy idea that the team had at that dinner was to translate Android’s source code to C#. Android would benefit from C# performance features like structures, P/Invoke, real generics and our more mature runtime.
Although nothing happened back in July, this idea stuck in the back of our minds.
Fast forward a few months: Mono for Android is doing great, and we are starting to think again about improving our own product’s performance on Android. What if we could swap out Java with faster C# and get rid of various Dalvik limitations in the process? Could we create an Android phone completely free of Java, and free of the limitations of the Dalvik VM?
We decided it was crazy enough to try. So we started a small skunkworks project with the goal of doing a machine translation of Android from Java to C#. We called this project XobotOS.
Xamarin then began the XobotOS project to port Android 4.0 to C# using their open-source tool Sharpen. While they no longer are focusing on XobotOS, they have open-sourced the project on GitHub. Could this be the answer to Google’s current legal battles? Given the depth of the necessary ecosystem changes, this seems unlikely. However, it presents an interesting possibility for those willing to tinker with the open-source code above.
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XDA Recognized Contributor Albe95 has shared with us what looks to be Galaxy S6 applications. The ones he's provided are the GearManager, the Optical Reader, GeoNews and Kids Mode. The applications are available for download through the links in the opening post, but keep in mind it is likely that they might not be compatible with your device. There's also new information about more applications and system interface features revealed in the same thread: The alleged S6 statusbar and panel are ported to the...
Only a few years ago, it was normal for a major app release to be available for iOS but come months later to Android. That seems to no longer be the case, as Android has advanced tremendously with Google putting a huge effort into its Play Store and ecosystem. However, while the majority of major app releases are now made available for both platforms at the same time, there are a few iOS exclusives that some of us wish were on our favorite mobile OS (Hyperlapse comes to mind). Let us know which apps for the iPhone you wish were on Android.