Wine, a popular software that enables users to run Windows apps on Linux and other Unix-like operating systems, has released a version that will let users do the same on Android smartphones. Codeweavers, which makes the Wine app, has announced the stable release of Wine 3.0 for Android. This feature has been under development for a long time now.
Launched in 1993, Wine is a free and open-source compatibility layer that allows computer programs developed for Microsoft Windows to run on Unix-like operating systems. With a software library called Winelib, developers compile Windows applications to help port them to other systems. Wine also maintains a database of compatible programs.
Wine 3.0 is the first version users can install as an app on Android smartphone. In order to install Wine, users need to get it from here. Users need to download either 'wine-3.0-arm' or 'wine-3.0-x86' and not the release candidate APKs. Once installed, users will get a full-screen Windows display, including a Start menu, and support for audio and basic graphics.
Notably, since Wine is a compatibility layer it does not fully support smartphones with ARM processors and instead works well with x86 Android handsets. For smartphones with ARM processors, only apps that are ported to Windows RT work well. XDA Developers forum has a list of such apps.
The new version brings about some 6,000 changes, according to the development team. It is the result of over a year of work and marks the beginning of a new annual release cycle. Other than the banner Android compatibility, Wine 3.0 offers Direct3D 10 and 11 support, Direct3D command stream, Android graphics driver, and improved DirectWrite and Direct2D support.
However, there could be some limitations right now with the newly updated app. As per Android Police, the app opened on a OnePlus 5T smartphone but crashed on a Samsung Galaxy Tab S, and froze on a Google Pixel handset.