I've just found out about Boincoid: a port of the BOINC platform to the Android operating system as a platform for computing using volunteered resources (like SETI@home, Climateprediction.net, Rosetta@home, World Community Grid, etc). There isn't an actual app for Boincoid but just a zip package with a list of instructions dated from 2008.

Are there any other applications being developed for distributed-computing on Android?


I don't think so. While you're ( they're ) on to something with the high amount of untapped CPU cycles accessible via Android ( and other mobile ) phones - the limiting factor tends to be that users don't want their batteries drained to compute fractals ( or something of the sort ).

If you were to create a service, however, that worked ONLY while the phones were charging, that would be a completely different matter. However, doing so greatly reduces the time that would be available to tap those CPU cycles.

[Edit] - And further notes...

At one point I had investigated ( fairly heavily ) creating a distributed database system that would reside on mobile phones to support basic Apps that didn't want to rely on a REST service. Ultimately, it came down to the lack of unlimited power that made it not worthwhile. The goal still seems a bit of a holy grail in mobile application programming - create a distributed system that can take a service and database schema, and then add in a discovery and hash system to keep track of live nodes that had data. Moving all of that information around could bog down a 3G connection - but a few years from now that won't be much of an issue I think.

  • Thanks for your answer. Battery life is obviously important. Quoting the FAQ from Boincoid: "We intend the Boincoid users to switch on the processing at night, when their phone is charging and idle. This is indeed to save battery time for daily usage. In future versions the client will recognize the charger state, and will switch on/off automatically." – 719016 Dec 30 '11 at 21:24

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