Wine is an
emulation compatibility layer that makes it possible to run some Windows applications on computers using GNU/Linux, macOS, BSD, and similar software, and recently Wine developers have been working on bringing support for Windows applications to Android devices with x86 processors as well.
Now Wine 3.0 is out, and the latest version includes Direct3D 10 and 11 support, improved support for Android, and many other updates.
You’ll have to wait for a future release to get Direct3D 12 and Vulkan graphics support, but they’re both i the works.
Nonetheless, the latest update should bring support for more graphics cards, full graphics and audio drivers for Android, improvements that allow Wine to work better on computers with displays that have high pixel densities, and a long list of other changes designed to offer improved performance.
Not all Windows applications run under Wine, but you can find a database of compatible games and other programs at WineHQ.
One of the more exciting developments in recent years has been initial support for Wine on Android, and at this point Wine can be built as an APK that can be installed on Android devices.
But despite the audio and graphics improvements, Wine still only supports full screen desktop mode at this point, and Direct3D is not currently supported, while OpenGL support is limited to the OpenGL ES API available for Android… which means some PC games not work.
As far as I’m aware, Wine for Android also still only supports devices with Intel or other x86 chips, which rules out most Android phones and tablets. But you can use the software on Chromebooks that support running Android apps through an Android subsystem.
Update: Actually it’s a bit more complicated than that. You can install Wine on a device with an x86 processor like a Chromebook or some older Android phones or tablets and run Win32 apps. And you can install Wine on an Android device with an ARM processor… but for now you’ll only be able to run Windows RT applications that were compiled to run on devices with ARM-based chips.
Eventually there are plans to bring QEMU support, which would allow an ARM-based phone to emulate an x86 processor, allowing you to run more desktop Windows apps on most Android phones or tablets. But QEMU integration is still a work in progress.
You can download the latest ARM for Android builds for ARM and x86 chips at the WinHQ website.
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