back to article Android on an iPhone? There's an app for that

Linux developers have managed to get Google's Android OS running on an iPhone, providing an open OS for the most closed of platforms. The Linux On The iPhone blog has been mucking about with booting utilities and drivers for a while, but can now demonstrate a duel-boot iPhone that will switch between Apple and Google at a …


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  1. Code Monkey


    Presumably this involves the 2 OSes slugging it out to decide which gets to run the phone this time.

    Back on topic, well done to the devs. It's this sort of wonderful if a bit pointless webserver-on-a-toaster daftness that makes this industry so interesting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      EN GARDE! ;-)

  2. Laffer
    Thumb Up

    Love it!

    Just the thought of apple or even better, Steve Jobs having apoplexy over this - I find extremely amusing. Grab it while you can before apple (some how) force a takedown.

    Dual boot Jesus phone - gotta love it! I'll be downloading first opportunity I get.

  3. Red Bren
    Jobs Horns

    BlueTooth and Tethering?

    Can you use it for tethering without having to pay for an over-priced bolt on in addition to your "unlimited" web access?

    Will it support the a wider range of bluetooth profiles, especially DUN?

    Or perhaps I should just get an Android phone...

  4. DaveB

    DEFCON 1

    "Warm up the ICBM's in the bull pen and....set the legal team to kill"

    So we are just one step away from Ipad running Linux (LOL).

    I suspect that Adobe will be the next to contribute to the effort.

  5. Anonymous Coward


    You'll be downloading it as soon as possible to stick it to Jobs huh? Way to show him, sure he'll be livid if he notices I'm sure.

    Or..... you could have just not bought an iPhone in the first place if you hate Apple?

    Some strange folk out there.

    1. Tom 54

      Not everyone buys it

      I did not buy it in the first place.. so I'll be happy to upgrade my iPhone my work gave me.

  6. HFoster
    Thumb Up


    Steve Jobs is having a Soccer Manager moment, throwing his toys out of the pram and screaming for heads on silver platters.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Jobs doesn't care

      Apple and Jobs doesn't care if some Linux geeks spend hours upon hours getting Android to run on the iPhone. You still have to buy an iPhone, so Apple made its money. Plus, the percentage of iPhone users who would want to install Android on their iPhone has to be less than 1%.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        You would think this yes

        What you have described is "normal" technology company behaviour.

        However, the reason why we have all these excited news stories/debates about Apple & Steve Jobs is *precisely* because they're strange and seemingly go out of their way to irritate people -- e.g. by deliberately making later iPod versions hard to run third-party firmware on by encrypting the database of tags/metadata (which were originally XML files, I think).

      2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
        Jobs Horns

        That's not where they make their money..

        "You still have to buy an iPhone"

        True, but that's not where Apple makes the real $$$. They make their money from taking a slice of *everything* around it - your calls, your bandwidth, the music you buy, apps, Google use - everything. If they could bill you for breathing near the phone they would, but there's no App for that yet. Coming soon: every bit of news you get and the books you read, coutresy of the iPaid, sorry, IPad. This fits perfectly into Jobs' obsession with control - even Gates never dared to venture where Jobs has no problem treading.

        To run a different OS on the iPhone is thus a worse act of blasphemy than jail breaking it - this is not just filing through the bars, this is ripping a complete wall out of the prison and putting up signs everywhere for other prisoners to make use of it, provided they get this stable (and they will, I think). It also allows Google to completely outmanoeuvre Apple for revenue - they can sell music too, without Apple getting a dime/penny/cent, and sell ads without having to part with a percentage for using the iPhone as a platform.

        I honestly cannot see Jobs even sleep before the developers have come up with a new iPhone OS release to fight this off. I'll be very surprised if this takes more than, say, a couple of weeks.

        1. My New Handle

          A bijoux bit wrong there

          My iPhone bought on PAYG, unlocked by Apple (via O2) and now running a Vodafone 30-day SIM-only. So how are Apple exactly making any "slice" out of my calls or monthly SIM-only rental? The rest of the diatribe is marketing, not control. Jeezus - you lot make me laugh - if you were in business would you be prepared to give it all away? Oh hang on, maybe thats why you're not the successful business Apple is, 'cos they're not brain dead stupid.

          Back on topic - I can't see the real point of running Android on the iPhone hardware other than simply to say that it can be done, and someone's actually done it. It isn't two fingers up at Steve Jobs or Apple or whomever. Its pure and simply a feat of technical dexterity performed on some hardware. And not particularly suitable hardware at that (lack of buttons required by Android).

          So get real people. Cool down. Its just a phone stupid.

  7. JeffyPooh
    Thumb Up

    iPhone Tethering in Canada

    @Red Bren - a data point from Canada

    My iPhone telco of almost-random choice (Rogers, they had the iPhone first) now includes tethering in the data plans. Obviously you still have to pay for the bandwidth consumed, but they no longer care if the bits end up on the iPhone or your laptop.

  8. TC

    The PAD (Apple iTrademarked iWord)

    Excellent point about the other opportunities. I would love to see what could be done

  9. Laffer


    Hmm Guess I shouldn't feed the trolls.......... Aww, what the hell........ they look hungry. I will keep this short.

    1 - iPhone is the only apple product I have owned and will ever own.

    2 - I got the device cos I needed something to go on holiday with that 'kept me in touch' - it was a choice between a netbook or iPhone - I went for portability and hence iPhone.

    3 - At the time I was not aware of how dire iTunes was and still is and how much control apple exert over a device they do not own.

    I have nothing against the device, it is a fabulous bit of kit (other than a couple of deliberate design flaws). apples world domination plans they can keep and shove it where the sun don't shne.

    I'm currently saving my pennies to buy a top end android phone. When I do I will be 'experimenting' with my iPhone, jalbreak, dual boot etc. Failing that, giving it to the wife...........

    1. Anonymous Coward


      "iPhone is the only apple product I have owned and will ever own."

      Why? I mean you can't judge Windows based upon Microsoft Binder or judge it based on Vista, can you? Did it occur to you that Apple's other products work completely differently...?

      "At the time I was not aware of how dire iTunes was and still is and how much control apple exert over a device they do not own."

      Two things you should probably know.

      1, iTunes on Windows is the only version that ever seems to be berated. (Can't see why, assuming it does what the OSX version does)

      2, You can sneakily use other software to update your iPod, so there may be alternatives for the phone too.

      What are you trying to get your phone to do anyway? You could always jailbreak it.

      I suspect that there isn't anything you want to do with the phone that you currently can't but are just trolling ...

      1. Originone

        Its not the itunes thats different...

        its the audience. iTunes on OSX is obviously being used by Apple-Fanbois, iTunes on Windows Apple-Haterz. Hence the dissconnect between opinions of iTunes on the different OS's even if they are identical.

        1. Alan Bourke

          Er, no.

          Windows users are not Apple-haters by default. And the fact remains that the Windows versions of iTunes is terrible.

        2. JEDIDIAH

          Dive into the punchbowl...

          No. The poorly thought out nature of iTunes is readily apparent even on MacOS. The fanboys just don't complain because they've already drunk the cool-aid.

          Since the iphone is heavily subsidized, there is a much lower entry barrier for users that might not otherwise buy into a completely different computing platform. It's far more likely that a non-partisan will be running an iphone versus a Mac.

          Most people aren't going to blow $600 just so they can thoroughly try out MacOS.

      2. Rattus Rattus

        re: "can't judge Windows based upon" etc

        Of course you can. Binder was shit, Vista is shit, and that sums up the rest of Microsoft's output pretty well. Of course, the rest is not quite AS shit as Vista, but it still gives you the general idea.

      3. Laffer

        @AC.... again...... for the last time........

        Bloody apple fanboi trolls.

        Erm, are you stupid or merely pretending to be (troll like fashion) - apple only does proprietary, numpty. They are totally protectionist even to the point of censorship.

        What I'd like to do with MY phone is MY business NOT anyone elses and certainly not apples.

        As for iTunes, well, perhaps one of the most badly conceived and executed apps of all time as well as the previously mentioned protectionism.

        To educate you, go to and/or download the trial and be amazed at what a reasonably well thought out media player & management app can do - it makes iTunes look very, very stupid indeed. It's just a shame that apple keep on screwing with their interfaces to break compatibility with this & other apps that manage not only the music and playlists better but also the portable playback devices.

        Lastly, adding insult to injury - all apple products (even apps) are top loaded here in the UK (perhaps all of europe?) so a $0.99 app is £1.72!

        Yeah, apple is really a great company, ripping off it's customers, enforcing censorship not only on it's customers but also other businesses, shafting it's own shareholders . There is no defence of apple that makes any sense other than greed, so do not bother trying.

        As I originally said, I am voting with my wallet and will not be lining apples pockets with any of my hard earned. If you wish to sustain apple with your money by buying it's products whilst it treats you like a chump, that is entirely up to you.

        Let me pre-empt your slagging that I will be buying into Android and all that it entails...... Right now IMHO Google really is far less evil than apple.

  10. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Love it - expect an iPhone OS update soon

    If Apple doesn't like a jail broken phone, it most certainly isn't going to like one with a complete OS..

    Amazing work!

  11. Adam C 1


    Does anyone know if the GPS works well? I've bought a few apps on android, namely CoPilot live and it's non-transferrable to the iPhone :-( If I could use this IT'd be awesome!

  12. Tom Kelsall

    I'm impressed with the work...

    But what will it be able to do? Also, why can't we wipe apple's OS Install altogether and just have Android?

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Well, obviously..

      .. an App for that would never quite make it past Apple :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Jobs Horns

        Who said...


        Anyway, sod the iPhone. Could be tempted by an iPadroid.

  13. Matt Piechota


    Interesting, I wonder what version of Android that was. My 2.0 and now 2.1 Motorola Droid has different call answer and in-call screens, which don't require external buttons. It would useful on the iphone with it's button-challenged design.

  14. Anonymous Coward


    If Apple doesn't get this strangled via the DMCA it could be the first wedge into opening Apple's overly restrictive platform. We now have precedent for "a user may install whatever operating system they want on their hardware". So Apple may have trouble enforcing their view in all jurisdictions.

    Apple makes its money with the hardware but uses the applications and the uniqueness as bait. Android is showing that anything that works on the oh-so-cool jPhone is available elsewhere. Demonstrating this and possibly better performance would be a chink in the armour.

  15. Dave Ross
    Thumb Up


    I think I will be grabbing this as soon as a 3G version becomes available. Too often have I foloowed a tweeted link only to find that it is to something in flash and been unable to see what was interesting.

  16. Daniel B.
    Thumb Up

    Use for unsupported iPhones?

    So his Jobsiness decided to completely cut off the 2G iPhone, and ban the 3G from having true multitasking ... at least down the official route.

    Now you can keep your iPhone updated ... with ANOTHER OS! hahahahaha!

    I doubt Apple will be amused by this. It means that their artificially obsoleted iPhones can be actually upgraded and kept everything but obsolete. This hack works only on 'older' iPhones, so whoever wants to run this will buy a used iPhone. Apple doesn't get any cash on used iPhones. Whooops!!!

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
      Thumb Up


      Sounds like a way for early adopters of the iPhone who have resisted the urge to upgrade to recover some of the value by making a market for their second-hand devices.

      I expect an upsurge of these early iPhones appearing on eBay.

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    1. HollyX
      Thumb Up


      Isaac would be proud :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Naming Compo

      How about miPhone...?

      Or biPhone...?

  19. MarkOne
    Thumb Up


    Nice little upgrade there.

    Multi-tasking TICK

    Flash TICK

    Open Store TICK

    Open Music TICK

    Better Bluetooth Connectivity TICK

    Free Maps/TurnByTurn Nav TICK

    No limits on the size of data (the only limit is the size of your SD Card) TICK

    The list is endless Android (at least in it's 2.0+ incarnations) is miles better than anything the iTards have.

    1. rcdicky

      Why do people...

      feel the need to resort to insulting others just for having an iPhone.

      Fact is, what the iPhone DOES do, it does well.

      I've had Android before and it's good, really good actually. I just prefer my iPhone, can't see why that makes me an iTard...

      Just grow up and accept that these two products exist and are both doing well

  20. b166er

    Or just get a Desire

    and cackle loudly as Jobs throws a chair or something.

  21. Goat Jam


    The article doesn't mention it but I assume that the phone requires jailbreaking to do this? If so I doubt there is much His Steveness can do about it.

  22. paul 97
    Thumb Up

    good news.

    No you can have something that looks like a jesus phone and doesn't need to make love to iTunes every 5 mins.

    (I loved my iPhone but hated iTunes - why is it a 'smart' phone when you need to talk to a computer to put any music on it)

  23. Winters


    If you bought an iPhone, you bought it because you wanted an iPhone. Thinking of putting Android on your iPhone? Why the hell didn't you buy an Android phone then?


      But it's got electrolytes!

      > If you bought an iPhone, you bought it because you wanted an iPhone.

      > Thinking of putting Android on your iPhone? Why the hell didn't you buy an

      > Android phone then?

      ...clearly some people can't make the distinction between hardware and software.

      Also, just because you like something in general it doesn't mean that you are in love with every aspect of the thing. This is why proper Mac users install replacements for Apple bundleware.

      Apple has just made it unecessarily hard to do that with some of it's devices.

      Being a happy homeowner means I can knock down a wall if I want to.

      I wonder if this is an idea lost on high rent urbanites.

      1. MD Rackham

        Of course...

        ...all that effort in porting Android could have been spent on designing better Android phone hardware designed for the OS. Oh, but that would mean actually creating something.

        Porting is not creative work. It may be hard, but all they're doing is following in someone else's footsteps.

        (I've done *way* too much porting to have any illusions about it being anything other than unoriginal grunt work. It just happens to pay well if you can get the right gig.)

  24. Anonymous Coward


    I guess I know what I'll be doing to my IPod touch - never use it as it is.

    Next step installing XMonad, mplayer and vim FTW :)

  25. Daniel Snowden
    Thumb Up


    The CPU in that generation of iPhone is underclocked so it's slower than a Hero but if reset back to its original speed it would be more along the lines of a Legend. Combine that with a larger amount of flash (that can actually be used for installing apps, one thing that annoys me about androids) and there could be the makings of a nice littel android phone.

    My only concern is the lack of a "back" hard key, would this cause problems for day to day use I wonder?

    Either way, I'm sticking with HTC, I love their Sense UI :-)

  26. Il Midga di Macaroni
    Thumb Up

    Great for the geeks that found out too late...

    ... that the iPhone is NOT a geek toy. When it came out, it was the first of its kind and had a whole stack of features that no comparable device had. It was like a new flavour of ramen, every geek had to have one in order to hold up his head at sodium parties.

    About six months later the realisation started to set in - first of all, a lot of non-geeks have them, which diminishes its status as a geek toy to start with. And then, the development tools are actually fairly limited. We can't do low level operations on the hardware for best performance, we have to use this J-J->throws up<-Java stuff. Java is not a geek-friendly language. Most good geeks are allergic to it, to a greater or lesser extent.

    So what I'm trying to say is, those geeks that were snared by the geekness of the iPhone when it was new and are now trying their best to keep them out of sight until the contract finishes, now have a new option. Get a true geek OS on your existing hardware and have the added geek cred of using alpha code for everyday use.

  27. dave 93
    Thumb Up

    Boot Camp for iPhone?

    Apple actively supports Windows on Mac hardware, so why not Android on iPhone?

    Now what we need is a pointy clicky wipe, unlock and install Adroid. Sweet, because I, personally, am a bit bored with my iPhone now. Don't get me wrong, it is an amazing device, I just bore easily ;-)

    There is a growing number of 'obsolete' iPhones out there (iPhone OS 4 doesn't work properly on 3G, which has to be the most popular model), so an alternate OS would be a breath of fresh air.

  28. Patrick 8


    God I hope no one else misses the fact that its so slow that it may speak volumes for Android OS in all the phones out there in general!

    If the Apple OS on the phone is able to as efficiently run the device with the limited hardware and still give a highly tuned and smooth user interface experience, it shows badly for Android in general as an operating system that is inefficiently designed or programmed or both! And severely lacks any polish or attention to the details that are important to actual users and not tech head number freaks.

  29. Kurisu


    Someone got the N900 to run OSX, my guess this would be also capable right? I know the Iphone runs using OSX's core, but I mean the OS itself.

    granted it will be slow and useless.... but I wonder if this could indeed be done?

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