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Run (some) iPad apps from your Windows desktop using iPadian

31 October 2011, Nick Peers

Emulation is nothing new: as soon as 16-bit computers like the Atari ST or Amiga came on to the scene, coders attempted to emulate their 8-bit forebears like the Spectrum or Commodore 64. Nowadays both 8-bit and 16-bit machines are themselves emulated on PC and Mac, while Windows has gone so far as to now emulate its own predecessor, DOS, in the form of DOSBox.

It’s now becoming possible for Windows users to emulate certain mobile devices on their desktop. BlueStacks App Player lets Windows users emulate Android, while a brand new open-source app aims to do something similar for Apple’s iPad. Enter, stage left, iPadian.

The app itself requires no installation, but you will need to install Adobe AIR before you can use it. Once AIR is in place, simply unzip the downloaded archive and double-click iPadian to get started.

iPadian will overlay itself on top of your desktop, with your existing taskbar still accessible. Cleverly, it’s capable of logging in automatically to various apps such as Facebook if you’re already logged in through your computer. At the present time, however, you’re limited to simple point-and-click with the mouse – there’s no touch-screen support here, nor can you use the mouse in a gesture like fashion.

There’s no access to the official Apple App store too, which means you’re relying on iPadian’s own store for apps, which is incredibly limited seeing as it basically only works with apps that use the web or their own web-based API. Neither is there any meaningful documentation to be had – perhaps unsurprising for a program that’s only at version 0.1.

Despite these drawbacks, iPadian is still well worth a look, particularly if you’ve already got Adobe AIR already installed on your PC. iPadian 0.1 is available now as an open-source download for PCs running Windows XP or later with Adobe AIR.

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