One of the most interesting projects of the past few years is Anbox, a brilliant compatibility layer that does for Android what Wine does for Windows. It allows you to run an Android-based operating system and many of its associated apps from a traditional Linux distribution and, more recently, commercially served from the cloud. There are plenty of ways this could be useful, from running Android applications that don't have a Linux counterpart to testing your Android applications on a dozen different virtual configurations. But it hasn't been so useful running Android from a phone, mostly because it lacks decent ARM-specific acceleration.

Running Android within a container on a phone might seem an odd requirement because the phone may be running Android anyway. But this isn't the case if you're running one of the current generation of Linux smartphones, such as a PinePhone, with a native Linux operating system such as Ubuntu Touch, postmarketOS, and Manjaro (with either Gnome or KDE Plasma). These installations are running native Linux packages built just like their desktop counterparts, and that means they also miss out on running Android apps, despite being built on the same architecture.

This is where Waydroid helps. Waydroid uses Wayland alongside native non-virtualization Linux subsystems to implement an effective low-resource container for hosting Android. By default, it will instantiate a copy of LineageOS built on Android 10 with almost native-like performance. Even on a relatively low-powered device such as the PinePhone, we were able to install the minimal set of Google Apps and access the Play Store, but it's even easier to just add F-Droid. The result is that Android apps will run within a native Linux install on a smartphone. While it's still rough at the edges and very early in its development phase, Waydroid is a compelling glimpse at the best of both worlds.

Project Website

Waydroid will also run on x86 hardware. However,as it will only run x86-compiled Android derivatives, it's less useful than its ARM counterpart.

Video editor


We've not looked at OpenShot for some time. During that time, the state of video editing on Linux has improved massively. Linux video editing is now at the point where we've noticed many YouTubers using open source editors over their proprietary alternatives, much as they choose to use Audacity or Blender. Kdenlive has become a stable, powerful, and accelerated alternative to the costly Final Cut Pro on macOS, and it appears OpenShot is fast catching up. OpenShot adds the kind of features that take it beyond functional video editing and into creative territory. There's a host of new video and audio effects, including, for example, motion tracking, object detection, and video stabilization. The last one is reportedly one of the most requested features ever, and it's great to see what was not so long ago a cutting edge set of features making it into an open source application. Both the motion tracking and object detection are equally impressive, letting you identify objects within your footage that can then be tracked and processed in various ways, such as identifying all cars in a scene and adding labels to them automatically.

The new audio effects perform an equally essential role. There's a compressor to lessen the difference between quiet audio and loud audio, an expander to amplify quiet audio without clipping, a parametric equalizer for filtering out parts of the audio such as hum, and various creative effects such as distortion, delay, and "robotization." All of these additions make use of the improved performance. You'll need a package source other than the AppImage to take advantage of the almost essential hardware acceleration. For simple editing, however, OpenShot will still work on almost anything; the editor itself has plenty of small refinements such as improved zoom and transformations and much more intuitive clip snapping, plus most other video effects have been given an overhaul. If you've not tried it since we last took a look, it's definitely time to give OpenShot another go.

Project Website

Nearly 1,000 emojis have been added to OpenShot to encourage learning and experimentation when editing and creating videos.

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