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Programmer ports Google Android to first-gen Apple iPhone

post #1 of 70
Thread Starter 
A programmer has managed to run the Google Android mobile operating system on an iPhone, with features like browsing the Web and making phone calls functional on Apple's hardware.

David Wong, who goes by the handle "planetbeing," demonstrated his hack on video this week. The dual-boot setup, using a program called "OpeniBoot," allows the iPhone to be restarted and then run Google Android.

While the hack was demonstrated on a first-generation iPhone, Wong said porting to the iPhone 3G would be "pretty simple." An iPhone 3GS compatible version, he said, would be more difficult.

"The iPhone can in fact dual boot both the iPhone OS and Android, he said. "So even if you install Android on your phone, your iPhone can still be used normally."

In the video, recorded with an iPhone 3GS, Wong shut down the iPhone running the iPhone OS to access the OpeniBoot software, which is only available on a "jailbroken" Apple handset. Jailbreaking is the term used to describe exploiting holes in the iPhone OS to allow the device to run unsigned and unauthorized code.

Holding down the home button when in OpeniBoot, the software loads the Linux-based Android operating system, created by Google. The video shows the entire boot process, which is particularly slow given the early state of the hack.

Wong created drivers to allow the features of the Android operating system to correspond with the hardware capabilities and inputs of the iPhone. Because the iPhone is lacking in physical buttons, Wong re-purposed the volume up and down controls to serve as the call and home buttons for the Android operating system.

"It's not really production quality yet," he said. "I'd say it's alpha quality. But pretty much everything works."



As shown in the video, Wong received signal through a prepaid Rogers SIM card, connected to a Wi-Fi network, opened the Android browser to surf the Web, received a text message and received a phone call. Using the onscreen virtual keyboard he was able to pull up a website and navigate through touch controls. He said the experience was "usable."

Wong also ran into a hardware issue when playing music, because Android searches for files on an SD card -- something not available on the iPhone. Still, he managed to create a workaround to play music on the handset.

Wong is a .Net and Android developer. He's asked for donations to help with the project, or programmers who can help him code.

In 2008, members of the iPhone hacking community managed to successfully boot Linux on the iPhone, iPhone 3G and original iPod touch. Wong noted in his video that earlier efforts didn't offer much functionality, as drivers were not available. The first port was based on the main Linux 2.6 kernel and had rudimentary graphics, serial and other functional drivers for basic tasks.
post #2 of 70
Isn't that Sacrilege?

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post #3 of 70
Is this a 'prove it can be done' thing? I don't see why anyone would want to run Android versus the native iPhone app (especially with 4.0 coming soon). I've said it before - doesn't Google know enough about us already - let alone everything we do on our cell phones. meh.
post #4 of 70
In other news: I put a Skoda engine in my Mercedes.
post #5 of 70
Awesome. No one off the tech sites cares.
post #6 of 70
Why??
post #7 of 70
there is a bad issue with that phone........its running Android. I would never care for Android as I think Iphone OS is superior. HOWEVER, the man deserves props for being able to do that. Some people just see a challenge and have to overcome it and he is no exception. So congrats to him!!!
post #8 of 70
Off topic, but I don't understand why jailbroken iPhone OS hasn't been put on other HW, especially on Chinese clones which could use a better OS than the buggy WinMo with an iPhone-like veneer.
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post #9 of 70
Android is ugly and clunky, I used a phone from a friend running it, its quite horrid compared to iPhone OS.
post #10 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Off topic, but I don't understand why jailbroken iPhone OS hasn't been put on other HW, especially on Chinese clones which could use a better OS than the buggy WinMo with an iPhone-like veneer.


Probably not that easy to do. I have no experience with Jailbroken phones but I thought that you needed to be tethered to reboot even on a real iPhone so it doesn't seem practical at all on a non-Apple phone. But anything is possible I suppose. If the new hardware runs a custom chip Apple may put an end to any hacking in the future. Did any of the Giz info include specs about the cpu? If not, I wonder why not...hmmm?

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post #11 of 70
Its nice to have options. Like Windows on a Mac. If this guy is out of work, he will definitely be able to find a job now.

I know that an iPhone running the iPhone OS is best, but its good to see something neat like this done.
post #12 of 70
I think these types of projects are a resume of sort for the programmer.
post #13 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

In other news: I put a Skoda engine in my Mercedes.

post #14 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Probably not that easy to do. I have no experience with Jailbroken phones but I thought that you needed to be tethered to reboot even on a real iPhone so it doesn't seem practical at all on a non-Apple phone. But anything is possible I suppose.

OSx86 Project has had Mac OS X running on all sorts of x86 HW for years and it seems like they have the same level of access between iPhone OS and Mac OS, but it's beyond my ken so I don't really know.

Quote:
If the new hardware runs a custom chip Apple may put an end to any hacking in the future. Did any of the Giz info include specs about the cpu? If not, I wonder why not...hmmm?

It doesn't look like they dismantled anything that they couldn't get back together and they didn't examine anything that might have been some super secret trade secret. I have to assume they they didn't do anything without first consulting with Gawker's lawyers.

Personally, I can't wait to see how they put that board together. Using the SIM card pins I've been trying to figure out how they constructed the new board. This is by far the most advanced CE I've ever seen.
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post #15 of 70
My first question is why would someone want to do this?

What version was that android OS version? I have played around with an android phone I believe it was an HTC about a year ago and it was nice but no where nice as an iPhone and the iPhone OS. IS the android OS in this video up to date? If so then android OS seems very PC like. I have heard someone on this website on this forum make the analogy that google is the new Microsoft. The android OS looks very PC like compared to iPhone OS. Android looks very impersonal compared to the iPhone.
post #16 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Isn't that Sacrilege?

no, he's upgrading it to something useful.
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post #17 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by clexman View Post

Its nice to have options. Like Windows on a Mac. If this guy is out of work, he will definitely be able to find a job now.

I know that an iPhone running the iPhone OS is best, but its good to see something neat like this done.

Shouldn't the headline be "News Flash: Programmer wastes his time!". But yes I guess the option to do something so completely useless is a benefit to us all...

I prefer to think the editorial process of deciding when not to do something, is a greater benefit than loading up the tech world with the equivalent of useless gas station counter trinkets. Clearly his nerding powers are weak. If you're going to do something kinda quirky and silly, this idiot is competing with the people who modded a car to be controlled by the iPhone. Might as well shove his phone up his butt and call it a prostate device.
post #18 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple/// View Post

My first question is why would someone want to do this?

What version was that android OS version? I have played around with an android phone I believe it was an HTC about a year ago and it was nice but no where nice as an iPhone and the iPhone OS. IS the android OS in this video up to date? If so then android OS seems very PC like. I have heard someone on this website on this forum make the analogy that google is the new Microsoft. The android OS looks very PC like compared to iPhone OS. Android looks very impersonal compared to the iPhone.

because apple has abandoned old iphones even though they could be used for a myriad of things including workable cellphones with all the features of the latest greatest iphones minus the hardware bonuses for medium res photography and such.
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post #19 of 70
this will sell more iphones
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post #20 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post

this will sell more iphones

extremely unlikely since all the new iphones will be locked down like communist russia
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post #21 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by oxygenhose View Post

Shouldn't the headline be "News Flash: Programmer wastes his time!". But yes I guess the option to do something so completely useless is a benefit to us all...

I prefer to think the editorial process of deciding when not to do something, is a greater benefit than loading up the tech world with the equivalent of useless gas station counter trinkets. Clearly his nerding powers are weak. If you're going to do something kinda quirky and silly, this idiot is competing with the people who modded a car to be controlled by the iPhone. Might as well shove his phone up his butt and call it a prostate device.

this "idiot" did something you couldn't do in a million years.
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post #22 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by zindako View Post

Android is ugly and clunky, I used a phone from a friend running it, its quite horrid compared to iPhone OS.

opinions may vary. sense ui is slick.
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post #23 of 70
I would love to port this to my 2G and will do so if/when it is released. For you anti Google/Android trolls--grow up, get real, and stop being so narrow minded. Objectivity, heard of it?
post #24 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by FormerARSgm View Post

Is this a 'prove it can be done' thing? I don't see why anyone would want to run Android versus the native iPhone app (especially with 4.0 coming soon). I've said it before - doesn't Google know enough about us already - let alone everything we do on our cell phones. meh.

iPhone OS 4.0 doesn't run on the original iPhone last time I checked. This was done on an original iPhone.
post #25 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogerman2000 View Post

I would love to port this to my 2G and will do so if/when it is released. For you anti Google/Android trolls--grow up, get real, and stop being so narrow minded. Objectivity, heard of it?

True. I wasn't trying to bash the android. Just asking why somebody would want to do this. But I had to make a comment on the android OS compared to the iPhone OS in terms of its looks. I think its an important part of the OS experience. I guess it may be subjective, but my comment was the android is not as nice as the iPhone. I was not bashing the android, just pointing it out.
post #26 of 70
Why you ask?

For the exact same reason people climb Mr. Everest, circumnavigate the earth in a hot-air ballon, eat copious amounts of live goldfish, Shave pets, Invent Cat Washing Vending Machines, swim the hudson river (Blech!) or any other 'random acts' that server no valid purpose.
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post #27 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post

this will sell more iphones

Well I don't think it will sell any additional 'new' iPhones but I do believe this will certainly preserve the 'used iPhone market' on ebay for some time to come... Just like 'monkey see monkey do' the same holds true for hackers and geeks.
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post #28 of 70
It's an achievement no different from climbing mount everest. Why do people do it? Reasons vary, but world bows at them, if not now, some day!
post #29 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreytgilbert View Post

this "idiot" did something you couldn't do in a million years.

Yea maybe so... but just because someone CAN do something doesn't mean they SHOULD do something...

Without further adieu, I submit to you the best graphical analogy of loading Android on an iPhone.



Sure okay maybe I can do it, and maybe I can't but the more pressing question is... Why on earth would I want to?
-

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post #30 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

Yea maybe so... but just because someone CAN do something doesn't mean they SHOULD do something...

Without further adieu, I submit to you the best graphical analogy of loading Android on an iPhone.



-


Well done.
post #31 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by zindako View Post

Android is ugly and clunky, I used a phone from a friend running it, its quite horrid compared to iPhone OS.

But, it's 100% buzzword compliant!
post #32 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Off topic, but I don't understand why jailbroken iPhone OS hasn't been put on other HW, especially on Chinese clones which could use a better OS than the buggy WinMo with an iPhone-like veneer.

Why? If I were designing a cheap Chinese knockoff phone, I'd just put Android on it. It's free, open source and good. No need to hack something together.
post #33 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by oxygenhose View Post

Shouldn't the headline be "News Flash: Programmer wastes his time!". But yes I guess the option to do something so completely useless is a benefit to us all...

I prefer to think the editorial process of deciding when not to do something, is a greater benefit than loading up the tech world with the equivalent of useless gas station counter trinkets. Clearly his nerding powers are weak. If you're going to do something kinda quirky and silly, this idiot is competing with the people who modded a car to be controlled by the iPhone. Might as well shove his phone up his butt and call it a prostate device.

So, because you are feel he is an idiot for 'wasting' his time, he shouldn't have done it? Someone should alert Apple to check with you, the next time they are experimenting in the skunkworks to check with you. We wouldn't want those idiots wasting their time trying to push boundaries and do what hasn't been done, since it might displease you.

Whoever told you that something has to be worthwhile to you in order for it to be worthwhile to others? That seems to be a very vain, limited view of the world.

Quote:

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Think different.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #34 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by oxygenhose View Post

Shouldn't the headline be "News Flash: Programmer wastes his time!". But yes I guess the option to do something so completely useless is a benefit to us all...

I prefer to think the editorial process of deciding when not to do something, is a greater benefit than loading up the tech world with the equivalent of useless gas station counter trinkets. Clearly his nerding powers are weak. If you're going to do something kinda quirky and silly, this idiot is competing with the people who modded a car to be controlled by the iPhone. Might as well shove his phone up his butt and call it a prostate device.

We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless. Oscar Wilde
post #35 of 70
<troll>
I love it how you guys are all knocking Android, yet everything that is being updated for iPhone OS 4.0, Android users have been using for a long time. 4.0 is catching up, not setting the bar. Excuse me while I use my free navigation to find my destination while browsing on my 3rd party browser and listening to Pandora, at the same time.

</troll>
post #36 of 70
Well.....I want a public release with a dual boot of course
post #37 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by heyyouguys View Post

... Excuse me while I use my free navigation to find my destination while browsing on my 3rd party browser and listening to Pandora, at the same time.

Excuse me ... what road are you on? Just checking before I go out to run an errand.
Blindness is a condition as well as a state of mind.

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post #38 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by CurtisEMayle View Post

Excuse me ... what road are you on? Just checking before I go out to run an errand.

Pretty sure he is no longer on a road. Should be all clear, just watch for debris.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #39 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by zindako View Post

Android is ugly and clunky, I used a phone from a friend running it, its quite horrid compared to iPhone OS.

Yeah I would say opion varies as I think the Android OS is neck and neck with the iPhone OS and quite honestly the HTC Sense UI is quite a bit better than the iPhones
post #40 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

iPhone OS 4.0 doesn't run on the original iPhone last time I checked. This was done on an original iPhone.

Pretty sure it was done on a 3G, which does take OS 4.0 albeit without multitasking.

One interesting thing is that people could (eventually), do software comparisons between iPhone OS and Android on the same hardware.
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