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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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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.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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