Columbia University Researchers Run iOS Apps on Android

Mobile / Tech
Photo Courtesy of WIRED
Photo Courtesy of WIRED

Photo Courtesy of WIRED

XDA Developers send along word that Researchers at Columbia University have created a way for iOS Apps to run on Android.  While Android has certainly decreased iOS’s lead in app quality/quantity over the last few years, there are still iOS exclusives that will probably never come to Android.  The University’s project, code named Cider, looks to change that.

Cider doesn’t use traditional emulation techniques to achieve it’s results.  From the source article:

Developed by members of the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University, Cider is an OS compatibility architecture that is capable of running iOS applications on Android. Rather than using a strict virtual machine, this is done with a novel approach including compile-time code adaptation, as well as diplomatic functions. The former allows for existing application source code to be adapted without modification for use on the new architecture, whereas the latter allows foreign apps to hook into host device libraries, including those for proprietary software and hardware interfaces such as 3D acceleration hardware.


Cider definitely isn’t quite ready for prime-time at the moment, and chances are very good that it will never be released publicly.  I’d imagine that Apple’s lawyers would be chomping at the bit ready to have this taken down if it were offered as anything more than an exercise or tech demo.  The idea is certainly an interesting one though, and the proof-of-concept is impressive.  Have any of you come from iOS to Android?  Are there any apps that you had on iOS that you just can’t get anymore?  Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.


Check out a video of Cider in action below:

Source: XDA Developers, Columbia University

Photo Credit:

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