Some people want to watch the world burn. Those are the same people that run Windows 95 on an Apple Watch.
Now, app developing firm Tendigi is back at it once again and it is going for the holy grail of crossing mobile platforms: running Android on an iPhone.
And Tendigi was successful! Well, with the help of a bit of mass. And another machine it had to build from scratch. And a little engineering. And … well, just watch the video and read on.
In a Medium post, CTO Nick Lee explained that he only had to do a little DIY to get a encased subdevice running Android to seep into an iPhone. Did we mention that we’re lying about “little”?
Since the Android Open Source Project makes OEMs’ skinned versions of the operating system available to developers, Lee had some work off the table. He did have to port or build several libraries and tools to make operating an open source OS possible in a walled garden such as Apple’s — something that deserves more than bullet points, but Lee condenses it for our reading interest. The most important tool was the one that screencasted what was running on the device.
The hardware, while sticking to strict standards, also had a few compromises. The main one was that Lee didn’t want to code in the gap between iOS and Android’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth drivers — what fun that would be. Instead, the subdevice would need to have its own running antennas. The bulkiness of the device also trashed plans to gut out and repurpose a Mophie Juice Pack to house the subdevice. Lee ended up making and printing his own.
After revising blueprints and hours upon hours of testing, Lee was able to get the case down close to something Mophie-sized.
All this results in a rather taxing hack that, at the end of the day, works. You got your iPhone to “run” Android, Nick Lee. Congratulations.