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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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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.


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer














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