If you’ve ever wanted to run iOS apps on an Android device, six PhD students at Columbia University may be able to help.
They’ve created a piece of software called Cider (not to be confused with the other Cider software for OS X) which has bridged the gap between the two platforms by allowing Android-powered devices to run both domestic and foreign binaries – meaning both Android and iOS applications – on a single handset or tablet.
To do this, Cider copies the libraries and frameworks it needs to convince an iOS app’s code that it is running on Apple’s XNU kernel instead of Android’s Linux kernel.
A demo of this can be seen below:
The video above demonstrates the software in action on a Nexus 7. As you can see, iOS applications run side-by-side with Android software as if they were real, native Android apps. Unfortunately the performance seems to be pretty horrible at this point. Aside from the performance issues, there are a few other problems. iOS apps can’t access most hardware, such as the GPS, cellular connection or the camera. Apps that rely on these missing functions will have to work without them.
However the six students involved with the project — Jeremy Andrus, Alexander Van’t Hof, Naser AlDuaij, Christoffer Dall, Nicolas Viennot, and Jason Nieh – claim that they’re continuing to further develop the software, and hope to have a more advanced version for demonstration in the near future.
The full paper on the project can be read on the Columbia University website.