Smoke and mirrors: running Android on an iPhone via DIY case

"The holy war is over!" Or so proclaims Nick Lee, the probably insane modder who just last April demonstrated how to get Windows 95 to run on an Apple Watch. But as if that weren't heresy enough, Lee did one even better: running Android on an iPhone. OK, it's not exactly like what it sounds, and there weren't any iPhones or Androids sacrificed to the cause. Like any good magic trick, the key is misdirection. In this case, the key is a rather conspicuous case that hides a board running Android, which is then mirrored to the iPhone's screen.

Before you go off belittling this rather crazy achievement, you should probably know that the process takes more than just a simple case of connecting an Android device to an iPhone via a cable. There are software and hardware considerations to be made, and none of them are really that easy to accomplish for those unfamiliar with hacking and modding.

On the software side, Lee modified the Android Open Source Project, the base source code for all Android versions, to include specific processes and programs that, in a nutshell, communicate with the iPhone over USB, transmits the contents of the Android screen, and then translate touch events from the iPhone to Android. For hardware, Lee had to look for a single board computer (SBC) that is small enough to fit in a smartphone case yet powerful enough for a decent Android experience.

Putting all those together into a ready to use, easy to use/remove case also involved some 3D printing, which isn't exactly available to everyone. The end result, however, is definitely something the hacker can be proud of.

It's not perfect, of course. The case more than triples the thickness of the iPhone and has a considerable bump on its back. The Android display doesn't take up the whole span of the screen and there will be some performance bottlenecks, as it is basically ferrying screenshots and touch events back and forth between the two devices. Then again, if you're desperate enough to want an all-in-one device that runs both iOS and Android, you'll probably be willing to accept those limitations.

SOURCE: Tendigi