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18 March 2010, 09:56

Mono for Android

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Mono Logo Mono project leader Miguel de Icaza has confirmed that his team at Novell are working on an Android version of the Mono implementation of Microsoft's C# and .NET runtime environment. At the Mix10 conference, de Icaza said he expected a first preview version of MonoDroid to be available by August.

The Mono project has an implementation for the iPhone and iPod Touch through MonoTouch, and this already has initial support for the iPad. MonoDroid, like MonoTouch, will expose the underlying APIs of the mobile platform, rather than creating an abstract, common API, the approach taken by Java. "Mono running on the Android, but it's also all the APIs so you can talk to the Android APIs" Icaza told the media who also noted a user demand for running .NET applications on Android.

Talking previously about the API strategy, de Icaza said "Our vision is to allow developers to reuse their engine and business logic code across all mobile platforms and swapping out the user interface code for a platform-specific API."

It is likely that MonoDroid will be proprietary commercial product based on the open source Mono project and licensed on a per developer basis, in a similar fashion to how MonoTouch is sold. A guide to building open source Mono on ARM platforms, as found in the iPhone and Android, is also available.

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