Ardor full node on Android

One of the great advantages of NXT and Ardor being a POS blockchain is that nodes can run on relatively small hardware. In fact NXT nodes are known to run just fine on a Raspberry PI computer as long as the blockchain download is performed using a stronger workstation and then copied to the device.

Now days, Android phones and tablets has good enough hardware to run a full NXT node, in addition most of these devices are always connected to the internet whether using data connection or Wifi and it’s reasonable to assume that in the future Android devices will become stronger and with better data connections. Furthermore, Android is based on the Java programming language and NXT and Ardor are also developed in Java so one has to ask, can we port a full NXT node to run as Android app?

First of all we can already run on Android devices even today, you can root your Android device, install Linux, then Java, then install the NXT Linux distribution. But this a solution limited to geeks with a lot of free time on their hands. We need a user friendly solution, something you can get as apk file preferably from the Google Appstore. We also have a wallet app that we release with every version but this only serves as a client and rely on remote nodes for its operations. However we still cannot run a full node as an Android app. But this is about to change, perhaps as early as 2018.

Now with Android Studio 3.0 getting closer to a stable release with full Java 8 support, the Jelurida developers decided to give it a try and it works quite well. Naturally there are some limitation, the main one being that your device has to Support Android 8 (Oreo) which is currently only supported by few brand new devices. Also the JavaFX desktop wallet is not supported on Android but this is not a major concern since we can merge the existing Apache Cordova wallet app with the full node to provide a visual wallet.

Being able to run a full blockchain node on Android may not seem like high priority at the moment, but in few years when Android is integrated into virtually every device, and data connection is nearly unlimited, every car, TV and refrigerator will be able to run Ardor and NXT full nodes and you’ll be able to always carry your full node with you in your pocket.