Print 45 comment(s) - last by B3an.. on May 15 at 7:48 AM

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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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.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

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