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The new Android port to the iPhone relies on OpeniBoot as a boot loader.  (Source: David Wang via YouTube)

Android's home screen -- in action on the iPhone  (Source: David Wang via YouTube)
Apple surely isn't happy about this

Much like the open platform Windows invaded the traditionally closed hardware platform of Apple's Macs -- first unofficially, and then later officially condoned -- Android is now establishing a beach head on Apple's coveted iPhone.

Hacker David Wang, better known as "planetbeing" on the internet, made waves a few weeks ago when he showed off a first generation (2G) iPhone that he got running a modified Android OS kernel.  Wang is well know in the hacking community for being one of the key contributors to the iPhone 3GS jailbreak.  This week he showed off Android running on the iPhone 3G, or the version with the "nasty plastic, easily scratched back", as Wang puts it.

Wang's solution is dual booting.  You can only run one OS at a time.  Wang is using the OpeniBoot tool to manage the multiboot.  Rebooting takes a while because the NAND and FTL (flash translation layer) drivers aren't optimized yet, though Wang feels this will soon change. 

Wang had to port UltraSn0w (from the iPhone Dev Team) into OpeniBoot to get the radio working.  It starts running during the boot process -- this is one of the slowest steps.

Currently almost everything -- including Wi-Fi, internet, SMS, and MMS -- is working in the Android port.  The only thing not working is sound, which is a disappointment as you can't make or receive phone calls.  Don't worry, though -- Wang is promising that he's make major progress in getting the sound fully working and ready for primetime.

There are now several new developers working on this exciting project.  Wang states, "With their help I'm sure we'll be able to bring the system to production quality before too long."

Currently the code has not been published, but Wang plans to release a polished version within the next couple days for public consumption.  Keep checking Wang's website here.

Apple surely won't be happy when they discover what Wang has been up to.  It wouldn't be surprising even, if they try to sue to stop the spread of Android on the iPhone.  Apple has already stated that it believes jailbreaking and unlocking the iPhone to be illegal.  Ultimately, though, it's just one more sign that Android is threatening to do to the iPhone's version of OS X what Windows did to MacOS/OS X on the personal computer.

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By HostileEffect on 5/9/2010 12:36:55 PM , Rating: 4
Freedom want, freedom get.

RE: Freedom
By wushuktl on 5/10/2010 6:44:58 AM , Rating: 2
the freedom to run a free OS on a piece of hardware where you paid a premium because of the original OS? who actually wants this?

RE: Freedom
By Chaser on 5/10/2010 8:13:28 AM , Rating: 2
Someone that buys a used iPhone on Ebay that the original owner bought out the contract. Like the one I sold.

RE: Freedom
By MrBlastman on 5/10/2010 8:45:22 AM , Rating: 5
Someone that wants to give the middle finger to Steve, that is who. If enough people do it--load Android on his "precious," Steve's head might actually explode. I say the more the better!

RE: Freedom
By The0ne on 5/10/2010 1:20:40 PM , Rating: 2
If I was much younger as in my college years and have more time on my hands I would definitely contribute or even break/hack the iphone myself. I don't see much difficulty in doing this actually but it would be fun you so eloquently put it "give the middle finger to Steve..."

RE: Freedom
By cheetah2k on 5/11/2010 1:22:09 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe his new Liver will explode too?

Android FTW!

That's a bit of a stretch
By amanojaku on 5/9/2010 1:06:59 PM , Rating: 4
Ultimately, though, it's just one more sign that Android is threatening to do to the iPhone's version of OS X what Windows did to OS X on the personal computer.
It's true that the MacOS debuted earlier than Windows, in January of 1984 and November of 1985, respectively. However, the MacOS never saw widespread use. NEVER EVER. This is because the Mac OS only ran on the Motorola 68000 CPU, which did not see widespread use as a PC CPU when compared to x86 architecture. x86 had been around since 1978, and MS-DOS since 1981. Windows just leveraged MS-DOS, which meant any MS-DOS-compatible x86 system was capable of running Windows. The 68000 was first used in a PC in Apple's Lisa in 1983. That means the x86 PC platform had five whole years to become entrenched.

The fact is, Apple was trying to differentiate itself from other PC manufacturers. MS-DOS/Windows was the de facto standard, not the MacOS. Apple never made a significant foothold, until the introduction of OS X and x86.

RE: That's a bit of a stretch
By sprockkets on 5/9/10, Rating: 0
RE: That's a bit of a stretch
By amanojaku on 5/9/2010 9:11:40 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, your facts are off. Starting with MS-DOS, which DID exist in 1981. In fact, contains a copyright notice from 1981. It's true that this version of MS-DOS is really 86-DOS renamed, but all versions of DOS, including PC-DOS, were nothing more than tweaked versions of 86-DOS. From a branding perspective, MS-DOS didn't get named "MS-DOS" until ver 2.0, which came out in 1983. Here's a link from the guy who wrote MS-DOS:

I never said the x86 was a better platform, either. The Motorola 68000 was a SERVER and HIGH-END WORKSTATION CPU; of course it was better than the x86 offerings of the time. And seriously expensive, too. And the 68000 was NOT Motorola's version of the PowerPC; the PowerPC didn't come out until 1992.

RE: That's a bit of a stretch
By karielash on 5/10/2010 1:02:14 AM , Rating: 3

The MC68K was the bedrock of the Commodore Amiga/Atari ST consumer based systems, launched in 1985 using the benefits of the cheap Motorola 68000 series of CPU's. The PowerPC architecture was the successor to the 68K/88K.

The 68K was years ahead of the competition, it was a dream to program, particularly for embedded systems. I for one miss it.

RE: That's a bit of a stretch
By The0ne on 5/10/2010 4:14:18 PM , Rating: 2
Most my earlier (1990's wow) micro-controllers were base off the 68k series CPU, particularly the 68000. It is a fantastic CPU to program for and to perform multitasking. I also miss it :) I've done some designs with the x86 but to be honest I can't recall any of them (yes, I do favor the 68K series hahah).

RE: That's a bit of a stretch
By Targon on 5/10/2010 6:41:56 AM , Rating: 2
And now that Apple uses Intel processors, it opens the door for Apple to actually increase the market share for MacOS by allowing it to run on normal PCs. Apple will never do this since it would KILL their PC business, but it would be possible.

That is the problem that Apple has and will continue to have. They sell overpriced machines that are no better than a PC, but have a following since some people prefer the look and feel of MacOS.

One thing that Android may very well do would be to reveal that the iPhone isn't great as a phone when it comes to the cellular communication part of the device. This is one thing that no one seems to be willing to really look at with the iPhone, how good of a PHONE is it, rather than as a platform for running apps.

so what?
By lucyfek on 5/9/10, Rating: 0
RE: so what?
By Gungel on 5/9/2010 4:38:11 PM , Rating: 4
I think it is very useful because Apple is going to stop supporting old hardware with their newest OS and a lot of people are coming out of contract. Which means that tons of these older iPhones become available. And with this hack you can actually run a decent mobile OS on older hardware.

RE: so what?
By hiscross on 5/9/2010 7:26:13 PM , Rating: 1
"Apple is going to stop supporting old hardware with their newest OS" This is a commodity device, not some P1 PC. People change their cell phone all the time. I still have a Nokia I purchased in 1999 not in use, but it still works. Would I want to activate it? No. These guys need to build great software. That would make this industry to move forward, not hacking a 3 year old phone.

RE: so what?
By Targon on 5/10/2010 6:57:07 AM , Rating: 2
This is only the start of the process, and before much longer, they will have it working on the newest versions of the iPhone as well. With that said, there is a flaw in your logic, which is that many people find just about any dual-core processor to be fast enough for many needs.

Think about it, would you really have a problem using a dual-core Athlon 64 X2 running at 1.8GHz per core with Windows 7 as long as it had 3 gigs of system memory? Sure, it wouldn't be a great gaming machine or anything like that, but for the vast majority of people, the dual-core processor is fast enough for e-mail, web browsing(even with Flash 10.1 enabled), and most things. So, the hardware for this isn't the reason why most end users would replace their machines. The hard drive having problems WOULD be a reason to upgrade, since the cost of paying others for labor makes buying a replacement machine worth the money.

Cell phones are going through the rapid evolution the PC industry was going through back in the 1980s, where current hardware is not fast enough for most people, and that drives people to upgrade. The hardware in the iPhone will probably seem horribly slow in another three years, but it may still be seen as functional by some people. Basically, the hardware is getting fast enough for an "old phone" to be seen as useful. Even my old Palm Treo 680 wouldn't be a problem if the operating system were replaced with something newer.

RE: so what?
By gt1911 on 5/10/2010 3:02:09 AM , Rating: 2
If people go down this path, Apple will still get the revenue from the sale of the phone (or whatever the carrier gives them), but not all the following proceeds from the applications they sell, itunes songs and the like. I gather that is a significant portion of their revenue.

Since it also means that in those markets where iphones are locked to one carrier, the phone can be used on a different carrier and maybe this might straing the relationship between Apple and their partners?

RE: so what?
By Targon on 5/10/2010 6:45:59 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with porting the iPhone OS to another device is that it is closed, and copyright really would give Apple grounds for a lawsuit(you can't modify the code under the license). However, Android is open source, so modifications can be done without fear of a lawsuit.

The physical device is something that Apple really can't stop people from tinkering with since people buy the phone, but they can stop their code from being used on other devices.

For The Love of God -- Check the Spelling!
By FlyBri on 5/10/2010 11:54:39 AM , Rating: 2
"Don't worry, though -- Wang is promising that he's make major progress in getting the sound fully working and ready for primetime."

It's MADE, not MAKE. Look, I'll be honest -- I get annoyed with people who flip out and go crazy over occasional slip-ups and mistakes, but this is becoming a regular occurrence on this site and it's no long occasional. How can anyone take you even somewhat seriously if you guys don't regularly proofread your posts before you actually post them?

With the whole thing going on with and the iPhone prototype, Gizmodo is trying to say that Jason Chen is a journalist. Well, guess what, real journalists don't keep making errors consistently, and they have someone to proofread their writing (aka editors). You are a tech news website, similar to their site, so if you guys want to be taken seriously, and be considered anything close to journalists, it would be nice to start with something simple to this.

By acase on 5/10/2010 1:34:25 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, it should probably be "making" being that it is in the present tense. I agree with everything else you said though.

By zizbuka on 5/11/2010 4:14:03 AM , Rating: 2
It's MADE, not MAKE. Look, I'll be honest -- I get annoyed with people who flip out and go crazy over occasional slip-ups and mistakes, but this is becoming a regular occurrence on this site and it's no long occasional.

Not to be the irony police, but I think it should have been "longer". :)

I wonder...
By Pneumothorax on 5/9/2010 12:33:55 PM , Rating: 3
Who's door is going to be kicked down next by an Apphole S.W.A.T. Team?

RE: I wonder...
By chick0n on 5/9/2010 11:29:58 PM , Rating: 2

Cuz you just disssses the almight APPLE. Now you're going down !

Would be cool for nextGen iPhone
By Denigrate on 5/9/2010 12:48:00 PM , Rating: 2
Not an Apple fan, so if I could get Android on the next iPhone hardware, that might be enough to get me on board with an iPhone. Specs for that phone look pretty darn nice. Probably just go with an HTC or other device though just so no $'s go to Apple. I'm sure another phone maker will meet or defeat the specs on the next iPhone.

RE: Would be cool for nextGen iPhone
By B3an on 5/15/2010 7:42:54 AM , Rating: 2
Theres already phones out now that have better specs in many areas.

By RjBass on 5/9/2010 2:00:20 PM , Rating: 4
The iPhone is useful again. lol

Android on the iPhone?
By dflynchimp on 5/9/2010 2:41:12 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't you know there's an app for that?

RE: Android on the iPhone?
By carniver on 5/10/2010 1:09:22 PM , Rating: 2
Common sense tells you that the App store would never approve of such an app, if it existed

By icanhascpu on 5/9/2010 5:10:54 PM , Rating: 2
Alright first off, I think this is cool. Interesting etc. But here, and pardon my French...

Ultimately, though, it's just one more sign that Android is threatening to do to the iPhone's version of OS X what Windows did to OS X on the personal computer.

...doesn't making any fucking sense and is out of place.

RE: Nice!
By kmmatney on 5/9/2010 6:15:20 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I didn't think that made any sense, either.

Would maybe make more sense to do this with older hardware - I don't think most people would be willing to use this on a brand-new 3GS (or 4G) phones.

I wonder if this hack can unlock the phone to work with other carriers?

By Abrahmm on 5/9/2010 2:03:00 PM , Rating: 3
Looks like someone finally found a good use for the iPhone hardware!

Nice Job
By Macuser89 on 5/9/2010 12:48:21 PM , Rating: 2
I remember when apple was a hardware company and would actually like this. Now they are trying to be a stifling all inclusive software company. I wish they would have concentrated on the hardware side.

By wuZheng on 5/9/2010 4:09:17 PM , Rating: 2
As you might have noticed from the carrier recognized when hes on the iPhone OS side, he lives in Canada. I'm pretty sure the legal pathway to litigate this guy would be lengthy and difficult to traverse. So, good luck to Apple if they want to encumber this guy in legal trouble.

I think this shows the power and flexibility of the Android platform, that with a little bit of knowledge of how linux works and some rudimentary driver code you can make the OS work on hardware that is designed to be alien to anything but the iPhone OS. I'm looking forward to his future improvements on this port. =)

By ipay on 5/9/10, Rating: -1
RE: Hah!
By Abrahmm on 5/9/2010 2:24:10 PM , Rating: 4
I agree that this will not affect iPhone sales or market share at all, Android will do that enough on it's own and it is highly unlikely that many people will do this to their iPhone.

I agreed with you all the way up until this...
"But if you think this will have some broad effect on the market, that people will replace the more advanced and functional iPhone OS with a hacked-together Android kernel"

Then, I LOLED. Are you joking? You realize that the majority of the iPhone OS 4.0 update is features already available in Android, and things Android will still do better afterwards? Apple may make shiny hardware, but their OS is crippled and can't keep up with Android.

RE: Hah!
By icanhascpu on 5/9/10, Rating: 0
RE: Hah!
By inighthawki on 5/9/2010 5:44:15 PM , Rating: 2
Nobody is criticizing the upgrade. The OP took a stab at android stating its flaws which the above poster simply corrected, noting that android OS already has many of the features coming to the new iphone OS, some of them doing it better. Learn to read and understand what is being said before trying to assume that people are being voted up based on bias.

RE: Hah!
By Alexstarfire on 5/9/2010 5:58:15 PM , Rating: 1
Well, rather than list the ones that Android already does I'll list the features that this update provides that I'm pretty sure aren't on Android phones: bluetooth keyboards (not sure why you'd need this anyway), iAds (That's for the better), ummm and I think local notifications (I could be wrong on this). The game center they mention could be, but they say it's not out yet so I won't include it yet. All the other features can be done on Android, including SMS search.

If you know of some others, please point them out.

RE: Hah!
By Abrahmm on 5/9/2010 7:04:58 PM , Rating: 3
Lets see, from this article the biggest new features of the iPhone OS 4.0 are: multi-tasking, app folders, custom backgrounds, fast app switching, and local notifications.

Android does multi-tasking, and better. Anything can be multi-tasked, not a limited API of 7 functions that Steve deems worthy to multi-task. Folders? Yeah, already can do that. Custom background... Are they serious? Android already has interactive Live wallpapers. Fast app switching, yep, Droid does. Local notifications, I believe that is what the notification bar on the top of the screen in Android is for.

How's that for examples?

I wasn't criticizing Apple for updating their OS, I was pointing out how flawed the previous poster was when he claimed the iPhone OS was "more advanced".

Unfortunately for us, DT isn't the only place for knee-jerk Apple defense responses.

RE: Hah!
By Shatbot on 5/10/2010 10:20:21 AM , Rating: 2
The future with this is with Android on the iPad. I don't think it's a very big step between the phone and pad if you can jailbreak them both.

Dammit without expandable memory it's still going to be pretty lame.

iPad on Android with a 500gb hard drive, now that would be sweet.

RE: Hah!
By Veerappan on 5/12/2010 5:26:46 PM , Rating: 2
I like how you think. If they could get Android running on iPad, and the implied full access to the local disk, that would be awesome.

iPad + Android + Bluetooth KB/Mouse = Very appealing. When you need to be able to type large amounts, you just use the physical KB instead of the on-screen KB.

RE: Hah!
By B3an on 5/15/2010 7:48:22 AM , Rating: 2
iPad + Android + Bluetooth KB/Mouse = Very appealing. When you need to be able to type large amounts, you just use the physical KB instead of the on-screen KB.

I heard that there was some crazy device that already does all this and a lot more. I think it was called... hmmm... a laptop?

iPad = most utterly useless device ever.

RE: Hah!
By icanhascpu on 5/12/2010 6:28:35 PM , Rating: 2
What can't apps do in the background?: Remember Android's garbage battery life when it first came out? That's because there really were no restrictions on what kind of resources an app could consume in the background. Since Android 1.5, apps running in the background are capped at using 5-10 percent of the CPU altogether—which is the only major restriction placed on apps in the background. The other is that it's not easy for app to push itself to the foreground—they're supposed to the window shade notifications system.

What can't apps do in the background?: Basically anything not set forth in the seven services. So if it's not VoIP, or background audio or location, it probably ain't running in the background. (It can stay frozen in memory for a speedy return, though. In situations where you don't need it to do anything while you're away, this is just as good.)

Its really not much different.

RE: Hah!
By chick0n on 5/10/2010 11:26:38 AM , Rating: 1


What a fucking idiot.

RE: Hah!
By icanhascpu on 5/12/2010 6:33:22 PM , Rating: 2
You're both retarded. Calm down.

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

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