ios on android

This is pretty interesting. A group of six PhD students from Columbia University’s Department of Computer Science have developed ‘Cider,’ an OS compatibility architecture capable of running iOS apps on Android.

The research project utilizes binary compatibility techniques to run both domestic and foreign binaries on the same device. So essentially it can trick an app’s code into thinking it’s running on Apple’s XNU kernel…

Here’s an excerpt from the group’s research paper (via The Next Web):

We present Cider, an operating system compatibility architecture that can run applications built for different mobile ecosystems, iOS or Android, together on the same smartphone or tablet. Cider enhances the domestic operating system, Android, of a device with kernel-managed, per-thread personas to mimic the application binary interface of a foreign operating system, iOS, enabling it to run unmodified foreign binaries.

This is accomplished using a novel combination of binary compatibility techniques including two new mechanisms: compile-time code adaptation, and diplomatic functions. Compile-time code adaptation enables existing unmodified foreign source code to be reused in the domestic kernel, reducing implementation effort required to support multiple binary interfaces for executing domestic and foreign applications. 

And here’s a video of the Cider proof-of-concept running on a Nexus 7:

As you can see in the clip, Cider is still very much a work-in-progress. There’s notable lag in animations and actions, and the group says that it does not support features like GPS and Bluetooth, which causes some apps to crash.

The good news, though, is that the students say they plan to continue to work on the project.

  • So maybe this means we can run Cydia and its tweaks on Android devies?

    • Seems like it. Though, most of the tweaks will be duplicates of what’s on the PlayStore.

      • RarestName

        Still can’t find an Activator alternative 🙁

      • Mozaik

        Or swipeselection alternative.

      • Litchy

        I doubt that a Cydia port would let you use SwipeSelection with your Android Keyboard. Thats not how it works xD

      • BozzyB

        you can install a keyboard on Android which supports swipe-selection e.g. YouType.

      • XboxOne

        +1 for SwipeSelection alternative.

      • Matt Dowdy

        Gravitybox allows remapping of hardware and software keys, not as comprehensive as Activator is by a long shot but coupled with tasker did what i was after

      • RarestName

        I chose ART over Xposed

      • Matt Dowdy

        I’m yet to do that. Will stick with dalvik for now for the functionality of xposed until the devs figure out how to make it work with ART, better stop discussing this here now, it’s like going into a mosque and openly discussing Christianity :o)

      • XboxOne

        You know there are Android forums?

      • Matt Dowdy

        Of course but this is an article regarding android and as a user of both ios and Android I’m in the right place but thanks for the concern

      • RarestName

        Actually the only reason why it wasn’t updated for ART is because the developer feels that ART still isn’t technically finished, and developing for a version which may change from how differently things work in another newer version just isn’t worth it.

      • XboxOne

        Screw Activator I want Auxo on Android!

    • ghetto McKee

      Hahahah don’t think so and anyway you can use just use xposed on android.

      • XboxOne

        Xposed is no where as useful as Cydia.

      • ghetto McKee

        Not yet, but it has the potential to be and is growing very quickly.

      • XboxOne

        I haven’t seen it grow. I see the same stuff all the time.

    • BozzyB

      You don’t need cydia tweaks anymore when you already run it on Android 😉

  • Sachin

    Wonder if they framework a completely new OS with combination of iOS & Android.

    • Cameron Nelms

      Yes, please do

  • Capirexz


  • Would be cool to see a cydia tweak that does the reverse…

    • Rowan09

      They had one for the 3G, I wish I could remember the name. It allowed you to dual boot both OS. I did it on my 3G years ago.

      • Ahmed Karoui

        I believe it was called “Bootlace” or “iDroid” or something. 🙂

      • Rowan09

        That’s it.

  • ✪ aidan harris ✪

    So now Apple won’t have to make the rumoured Android iTunes app they can just make a crappy port using this and put any problems with it down to the OS / device like they do with the atrocious (but what else do you expect) Windows version of iTunes.

  • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

    Pure port please.

  • jzack

    so it works like VMware?

  • Jerry

    What will apple have to say about this?

    • Matt Dowdy

      Not much they can say really, they could issue a cease and decist order but it’s the same situation as Nintendo and psp emulators, once this has been released there will be hundreds more versions after it

    • Rowan09

      I don’t believe they can say anything. If this was being released to the public then they may have a case.

  • xTc5oh8

    Excerpt** (Sorry, normally I’m not a spelling troll)

  • Kattman

    This is the end of life as we know it

  • TeChNoStyLeZ

    Ok now we need a way to run android apps on ios.

  • hkgsulphate

    apple gonna kill them