After a canceled Kickstarter project, and more than a year and a half since its debut on the iPhone and iPad, Björk's ambitious Biophilia app is now available for Android phones and tablets. On Android, Biophilia pretty much works the same as it does on iOS, with 10 interactive sections that combine music from Björk's Biophilia album with science lessons on topics such as lightning, tidal patterns, DNA, and gravity. The app also carries the same price tag on Google's mobile operating system as it does Apple's — $12.99.
Biophilia launched on iOS in October 2011 as an app for schools to use as a jumping off point for both music and science lessons — it has since been adopted in classrooms in Iceland, New York, and Los Angeles. In January, Björk went to Kickstarter to raise money to port the app over to both Android and Windows 8, with the goal of getting Biophilia on every major tablet OS. But that effort was killed after just one month, with the musician saying at the time that "the costs were too gigantic and we were too optimistic." Shortly after Björk gave up on
Still not on Windows 8 Kickstarter, San Francisco startup Apportable reached out, offering to convert the app to Android themselves. Within minutes of getting their hands on the code used to produce the Biophilia iOS app, Apportable was able to convert it into a playable demo, said Britney Van Valkenberg, a spokeswoman for the company. That got Björk on board, but it still took two months to fully port the app over to Android since the company had previously only converted games from iOS to Android, she said.
Van Valkenberg said Apportable has built an SDK that allows it to essentially translate developer code written in Objective-C, for iOS, into an compatible Android installer. One thing the startup doesn't do however, is convert iOS apps into Windows 8 apps. For now, Björk's desire to bring Biophilia to every major tablet OS remains unfulfilled, and those using Windows tablets remain out of luck.