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Is the XA2 Android support developed in-house by Jolla?

asked 2019-06-18 10:33:18 +0300

Federico gravatar image

updated 2019-06-18 10:33:38 +0300

Just a curiosity: as far as I understand, the Aliendalvik Android 4.x emulator used in older Jolla phone was a third-party product that Jolla bought from an external company, Myriad. This may have restricted the commercial options for Jolla.

Is the new Android 8 emulator for XA2 developed in the same way? Or is it based on a different technology developed in-house by Jolla?

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@teemu convert your coment into an answer

Raymaen ( 2019-06-18 12:51:38 +0300 )edit

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answered 2019-06-18 13:04:56 +0300

DrYak gravatar image

updated 2019-06-18 13:18:54 +0300

It was commented in some community chat or during some meetup or whatever that Jolla did buy the rights over some parts of Myriad's Aliendalvik and thus they were now more of less developing it in-house.

We would need some of the Jolla Officials to chime in, though I'm not even sure if Jolla is allowed to publicly discuss the term of their license.

To expand on the description of Jolla's Sailfish's interplay with Android that I wrote some time back and that @teemu linked in the comment:

I strongly suspect that it's the API adaptation layer that Jolla bought rights upon and is re-using - the thing that the Android Application Compatibility Layer uses to translate calls from the Android API that applications use to the standard GNU/Linux APIs that Sailfish features, e.g.:

  • graphics (Android's Surface Flinger API to the standard Wayland Compositor used in Sailfish)
  • audio (whatever Android uses into the PulseAudio audio routing/mixing daemon)
  • and hopefully one day the Jolla devs will add raw bluetooth access to the mix (something to translate BlueDroid API into BlueZ. I've heard somewhere that Android x86 has something similar).

    (for now you're limited to high level API for specific devices where Sailfish handles the low-level Bluetooth and Android apps only see the high-level API: Bluetooth speakers (Sailfish handles the bluetooth part and they are exposed just as sound output to android apps), Bluetooth keyboards (Sailfish handles the bluetooth part and they are exposed just as input interface to android apps... well except on Sony Xperia XA2, because the jolla devs did forget to compile the Bluetooth driver into the kernel X-))

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fact is, Jolla is reworking some parts of Dalvik to make it fit all the supported devices.

Raymaen ( 2019-06-18 13:14:18 +0300 )edit

It is very similar to anbox. They even use the same container tech LXC afaik.

velemas ( 2019-06-19 13:20:47 +0300 )edit

yup, and Collabora's SPURV, too. Actually LXC is a cool and quite accessible technology, makes very easy to run stuff in containers.

(the only gotcha is granting some special capabilities: alien dalvik uses extended attributes to store information about capabilities. se the troubles with logd when the xattr get corrupted)

It's the bridging between inside the container and the outside host which is an entirely different can of worms. Even more so as Android uses completely different APIs for almost everything, so you can't just trivially ssh - X to forward GUI apps over network.

for graphic, eg.:

  • Anbox uses a special serialization and tunneling of graphical API that is normally used by emulators
  • SPURV exposes the hosts' Wayland surface assurface that android cab display onto (it basically looks like a yet another GPU driver to android)
  • and, like I said, I strongly suspect that Jolla has developed a solution by expanding upon the xode tjey have bought the rights from Myraid.
DrYak ( 2019-06-19 19:39:43 +0300 )edit

answered 2019-06-18 12:09:43 +0300

teemu gravatar image

updated 2019-06-18 13:37:27 +0300

On a general note, this is a very good detailed post on how the Android support is set up, and I believe answers to at least part of your question:

edit: converted to answer as suggested (please direct karma for the original poster instead of a pithy messenger)

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Asked: 2019-06-18 10:33:18 +0300

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Last updated: Jun 18