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Running Android on the iPhone

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I'm sure by now that most people with an interest in Android and mobile technologies would have seen this video of the Linux on the iPhone guys running Android on an iPhone.

When I heard about this first, I wasn't sure that it would be worth changing the OS on the iPhone to Android. However, in this video you'll see that there is a dual boot option.  Early days obviously, but it's nice to think that sometime in the near future you could have a real choice of which OS to use on your iPhone. Apparently, porting this to the iPhone3GS would take more work. For those with an iPhone 2G you can check out this tutorial to get Android on board your iPhone. 

I'm in no rush to use Android on my iPhone. With the iPhone OS 4 on the way, I think that most of the issues people have with the iPhone will be gone. All that is, apart from the whole Terms of Service issue, which pretty much forces developers to use ObjectiveC rather than any of the useful cross compilation toolkits that have sprung up to support mobile developers.

That particular issue could be the tipping point for full Android adoption. But for me, I look at the broad audience that the Apple App Store reaches, along with the success of the iPad and can't see Apple losing any ground.

While we're talking about mobile, PayPal have presented an offering for the Android and iPhone app stores which would allow customers to pay for apps using their service. It's a clever step for PayPal to take, gaining a foothold in the booming mobile application economy.



Greg Brown replied on Tue, 2010/04/27 - 7:27am

With the iPhone OS 4 on the way, I think that most of the issues people have with the iPhone will be gone.

Really? When iPhone OS 4 is released, I will be able to write iPhone apps in Java? ;-)

For me, that's the biggest draw for Android (the ability to write apps in Java vs. Obj-C).


James Sugrue replied on Tue, 2010/04/27 - 9:00am in response to: Greg Brown

Thanks for the comment Greg.

Maybe I should have made it clear that by people I was referring to consumers, rather than Java application developers :)

Maybe when the TOS mess gets cleaned up, we can cross compile over from Java. Surely someone somewhere is working on this. 




Rob Whelan replied on Tue, 2010/04/27 - 3:52pm

Check out the XMLVM project: you can cross-compile Android applications directly to iPhone apps (in the form of Objective C source code... which hopefully sidesteps Apple's cross-compilation restrictions).

It's a pretty amazing project that is unfortunately it's still in fairly early stages of development... but it does work for a limited range of apps (already on sale in the Apple app store...).

Fabrizio Giudici replied on Wed, 2010/04/28 - 4:26am

@Rob, unfortunately I think that the XMLVM stuff is precisely what Apple forbids with the 4.0.


Generically speaking, it's nice to see a dual boot in a phone 8-) but I think it's only a geeky thing. I mean, less than 0.01% of common customer would do that - also invalidating their warranty - and can't move the market. Android has got to beat iPhone on its own. :-)

I must say that, even with some criticism (see my previous post and others to come soon) I feel ok with Android. In about a week of work in free time (ok, with a full weekend in the middle) I've been able to roll out a version of blueBill Mobile which delivers (I mean, it provides a meaningful value to users). THis is my first week with Android and I'm also experimenting different design strategies, so it's really productive.

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