back to article Android's Gingerbread finagled onto iPhone

Time-rich hackers have got Android 2.3, Gingerbread booting on an iPhone 3G, for the fanboy of divided loyalties who must have the latest of everything. Honeycomb isn't completely functional yet, but being based on the iDroid project it offers dual-boot capability for those who want to keep iOS around for the more mundane …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    WP7 ?

    I wonder if they are going to give wp7 a bash too ? Probably have to triple the memory and add a couple of extra processors though.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Except that...

      ... WP7 runs on the 1GHz Scorpion/Adreno chip from Qualcomm, as proscribed by Microsoft to ensure good performance. Similar SOC to many smartphones, including the HTC Desire and arguably less powerful than the iPhone4's chip and that of the latest Samsung devices.

      And WP7 according to all reviews is fluid and smooth.

      Shame for Microsoft and their potential customers (many of whom could be very happy with their WP7 device), this kind of poorly crafted 'humour' and "I think I'm a real geek therefore I must bash Microsoft whether true or not" attitude just spreads misinformation, and sadly most people don't realise that a lot of the time it's FUD.

      Get back under your bridge!

      1. Paul M 1


        I am surprised that people seem to accept these Windows Phone 7 performance claims so readily.

        I have not used one and am happy to accept that it is fluid and smooth etc. as you say. But if I'm not mistaken, it is running an OS with the capabilities of the original iPhone (i.e. no app data sharing or multi-tasking) on hardware similar to an iPhone 4. Under these circumstances I would be shocked if it didn't fly.

        I'll reserve judgement on whether MS have learned from their mistakes until they release a fully functional Phone OS.

      2. qwertyuiop

        I doubt they "proscribe" it... that would mean MS are telling you NOT to use that hardware. Perhaps you meant "prescribe"?


      3. Anonymous Coward

        M$ FUD !

        Microshaft are past masters in bullshit, FUD, unfair competition and general underhanded dealings who have not changed their spots, see the recent patent buyout at Novell as a classic example. Yeah "Get the facts" - pah

        I'd trust the Sweeney Todd to give me a haircut much more than an MS salesman.

        Buying from Jobs at least you get something innovative even if it does cost you your house and first born child.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          10 years olds on the forum

          "Microshaft", M$... oh please, grow up. Or at least go back a half dozen years or so when your "clever" and "funny" terms had a little more relevance and weren't showing their age as much...

      4. tomjol

        Except that...

        ...the article is talking about the iPhone 3G, which isn't anywhere near the performance of the current crop of Android phones or the iPhone 4.

        Get back under YOUR bridge!

    2. Spearchucker Jones

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      iPhone 3G runs on a 620 MHz (underclocked to 412 MHz) processor. I have a Windows Phone and it's just as fast as my other half's iPhone 4. I wrote an app for WP7 that progressively chews up memory and processing cycles. Neither was able to slow the phone as the OS shuts the app down when it uses more than 90MB RAM. Don't know what the processor threshold is because the RAM limit was reached first.

  2. twunt

    Not Honeycomb

    Honeycomb is 3.0, for tablets - this is 2.3 - Gingerbread.

    You might want to fix the RSS feed and change it in the second paragraph too.....

  3. My Alter Ego


    I'm going to put my pedant hat on an say that 2.3 is Gingerbread, while 3.0 Honeycomb will [apparently] be for entirely for tablets.

    As and Android user, and occasional developer, I actually have to ask why. I couldn't cope with a phone which only has one button (excluding volume, mute & power). Other than that minor shortsight, I have to say I do quite like the hardware.

    1. Wize

      Don't some phones program them as on screen buttons?

      You could put the usual android buttons permanently at the bottom of the screen, or on a popup when pressing the hardware button.

  4. JDX Gold badge

    re: WP7

    Um, WP7 runs on similar-level hardware to iPhone and Android. If you meant desktop W7 then your attempt at humour makes sense.

  5. Anonymous Coward


    As the article says...if you need to ask why, you won't understand.

    I for one applaud this endevour; I'd love to be skilled enough to do this sort of thing myself. Kudos!

    Written on my still-boringly-vanilla iphone.

    1. A. Lewis


      Very much. :)

      (Apart from having an iphone - android all the way for me. :)

    2. It wasnt me
      Thumb Up

      I agree

      "I for one applaud this endevour". Me too. Now if only someone could get android running on my dead badger then I can get rid of my old Vudu linux :-)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Avoiding the obvious question of why...

    ...I'll go straight to:

    How do they deal with the lack of physical buttons on the iPhone? Android phones have more buttons, right?

    (Apologies if this is explained in the video, can't view it from here)

    1. Tigra 07
      IT Angle

      RE: Tony Chandler

      Well all the ones i've seen have 3 main buttons, so not including volume, camera or power.

      That gives you a Home button, a Back button, and a Menu button.

      Without them the Android phone is still fully functional, most games and apps will struggle though.

      Anyone else notice how laggy Droid 2.3 was in the video?

      Is that because it's still in testing?

      1. Si 1

        Re: Laggy

        I haven't watched the video, but the article says it's running on an old 3G. IIRC they had ARM CPUs running at ~400MHz, so it's bound to be a bit slow compared to the 1GHz most Android phones now available.

    2. Tom Jasper

      How do they deal with the lack of physical buttons...

      Probably in the same way us WM6.5 HD2 owners do once we've ported to Android... We use a *sliding soft key representation of physical buttons 'cause we reckon (based on evidence) the hard keys on the H2 aren't going to take the volume of presses Android use encourages.

      * Look up "Button Savior" (misspelt) or similar on the Android market.

  7. DrXym Silver badge

    How long until the reverse happens?

    iOS apps are virtualized so in theory an app could be running on a desktop or a tablet or even a rival phone provided there was a LLVM and APIs there to support it.

    I wonder if anyone is developing a compatibility layer for Android. Aside from the amusing apoplexy it would provoke in Apple, it would have a practical benefit. It would hugely useful for app developers who want to port a mass of iPhone code over to Android or other platforms.

  8. Gary F

    Let me get this right...

    They take a £500 phone and put an OS on it that you can run on a £100 phone. Why? Is their end game to allow people to run Android on iphone? Then those people should buy a cheaper Android phone and save themselves a load of money. It's not as if the best apps are Android-only and iphone users need to swtich from iOS to Android.

    1. Jamie Cole

      "If you have to ask then you'll never understand..."

      I really don't think they have an end game, nor are they really doing it for other people.

      People like this try to things just to see if they can, and I salute them! They'll be doing it just to explore what is possible, and sharing the results with anyone who is interested.

    2. Jolyon

      You have our permission

      I've always thought that Hillary could just have gone up to the top of the Malverns - they're the tallest things for miles around and generally nowhere near as troublesome as the Himalayas in terms of snow and breathable air, not to mention the friendlier inclines. The views from there are every bit as good in their own way and if it was good enough for Elgar I don't see why anyone would feel the need to go traipsing off all that way to get a bit of fresh air into their lungs.

    3. ThomH Silver badge

      Don't believe the propaganda

      Although Apple products hold their value quite well, I doubt you'd end up paying £500 for a device that originally cost £500 and is now two generations out of date.

      If you're looking for a cost argument for this hack (which I don't for a second believe that the team responsible considered at all), it's to repurpose a hand-me-down handset.

      1. D@v3

        you'd be surprised

        I sold my 3G to Mazuma, when I upgraded to my i4 for almost exactly as much as I paid for it, about a month after release.

  9. paul brain

    @ gary f

    its not for the need. its the techie mantra lifted from climbers. why climb the mountain .. because it's there.

    or why go to the moon.. because its hard.

    the challenge is the fun. publishing for knowledge share and kudos.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Many things are hard

      Writing decent software is hard. Surely these people would be better off working on Linux to make it decent or fixing all the horrible security holes in Android?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        @ Giles Jones

        It was traditional for Scrooge to finish such comments with a "Pah! Humbug!"....

      2. Ammaross Danan

        You sir

        Actually, it is in repurposing and shoe-horning *nix and such onto initially unsupported hardware that some flaws in the system are found, be they compatibility modules, drivers, API calls, etc. Heck, just running the OS on a setup with some shortcoming may reveal a weakness (lack of function, not security) of the OS. I'm quite sure they have to troll through the original driver code to see what can be copy/pasted for their port as well, which means: code review. Just reading through the code doesn't solve problems; working with it and modifying it solves problems.

  10. Sandy Ritchie


    I'd rather see iOS running on an Android tablet, that way I could have some decent games. I have an iphone and a Sammy Tab, oh how I long for the graphic goodness thats on the iphone, to replace all the crap games available on Android Marketplace.

  11. takuhii

    It runs, but not very quickly

    There seems to be a certain amount of lag involved with this "update", but I'm sure the guys are working on it.

    2.3 looks to be the last of the "great" ROMS, as 3.0 (HoneyComb) looks to be entirely Tablet orientated, although I am sure SOMEONE will try to port it to the relevant devices. But if HoneyComb is entirely tablet orientated, what will happen to Android for the small mobile device???

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      3.0 probably isn't only tablet centric

      I expect the gameplan is 2.3 for smart phones to tide them over for 6 months, 3.0 primarily for tablets and then some subsequent 3.x release sees a combined release schedule again. Doesn't mean existing phones will get an upgrade of course since system requirements might be jacked up for the 3.x series.

  12. Ian Ferguson

    Shaky shaky

    Why is it that developers clever enough to hack the iPhone and install Android are always too thick to understand the purpose of a camera tripod?

    1. Matt Piechota


      "Why is it that developers clever enough to hack the iPhone and install Android are always too thick to understand the purpose of a camera tripod?"

      That's a hardware issue. These are software guys.

      1. Robert Hill


        @Matt: I snorted out loud...that was great.

  13. Syntax Error

    "If you have to ask then you'll never understand..."

    I'd never salute them, but I am interested. Money is not important its the doing that counts.

  14. bexley


    my galaxy s has a menu button, a volume up / down button and a side button for power.

    Same as the jesus phone

    i think this is awesome by the way,. dual boot ios and android 2.3

  15. Arctic fox

    Why? Weell.......

    ........maybe they just want to get as far up Steve Jobs' nose as they possible can!

  16. corestore

    Put iOS...

    On Nexus One, if you're clever. Then I'll be impressed.

  17. Eddy Ito

    Please, oh iPlease

    Let the the name of an upcoming Android release with iOS app compatibility be Apple pie!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I've said it before... can't polish a turd. Why are people even trying to give phones a proper OS when a better phone costs less and looks nicer?

  19. gautam

    How about other phones?

    eg; Can they port it onto a brand new unused SE Satio? Brilliant hardware but oh...Symbian. Or onto a N97 ...same story abt Symbain.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Surely the apple hardware is the worst part of the phone and the pretty interface the best part? Why bother putting Android on worse hardware? You might want to put iOS on better hardware but with the lock in to Apples store that's not a very attractive option either.

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