Students Successfully Run iOS Apps on Android

iOS vs Android

The ‘OS Wars’, as they’re affectionately and menacingly known, pit every mobile operating system against each other, sort of like The Hunger Games except no phones are named Katniss and manufacturers are only hungry for sales. But right at the top of the food chain is Apple and Google, punching lumps out of each other with iOS and Android (sorry Windows Mobile) as the two companies vie for the most amount of users. Android is the current top dog, with over 60% of mobile devices running the OS, with iOS trailing well behind with 20% of the market and everyone else taking up the remaining 20 or so percent so clearly Apple has some serious catching up to do. What’s not going to aid Apple’s attempts is that a team of students have now found a way to run iOS apps on Android.

The students, from Columbia University, did this by using the ‘Cider’ compatibility layer. What Cider does is that it tricks the iOS apps in question into thinking that they are running on their native operating system, when of course they are actually running on company rival Android. Cider even allows the apps to to adapt code on the fly to work with Android’s kernel and programming libraries and while the results are less than stellar (in fact most of the apps that worked were found to be incredibly slow) it is still a significant technological development.

Not least because it all but eliminates the small hold that iOS has over Android. Android may have plenty of ways of getting files and such onto the device but a lot of the time, the apps that make the headlines seem to be found on iOS first, often making their way to Android several months later. With the Columbia team’s development, however, this is going to be less of the case as either the developers themselves or some talented hackers will be able to use this to more easily get iOS-only apps running on Android, which would be very good for Google and Android users indeed.

Via Columbia University.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login