“Six PhD students at Columbia University‘s Department of Computer Science have developed Cider, an OS compatibility architecture capable of running iOS apps on Android,” Emil Protalinski reports for TNW. “Rather than using a strict virtual machine, they achieved the feat by running domestic and foreign binaries on the same device.”

“They leverage binary compatibility techniques such as compile-time code adaptation and diplomatic functions,” Protalinski reports. “This means Cider can copy the libraries and frameworks it needs and convince an app’s code that it is running on Apple’s XNU kernel rather than Android’s Linux kernel.”

“The performance is less than stellar, but this is to be expected given the extra cost of diplomatic function calls and a currently incomplete OpenGL ES implementation. Nevertheless, using an OS compatibility layer for native execution of iOS apps on Android is an impressive feat,” Protalinski reports. “Android apps still function on the device even with the OS abstraction layer. The team says it did not encounter any fundamental limitations regarding its approach that would result in compatibility problems between the two operating systems.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yet another item for Apple’s legal team to keep an eye on.

Apple Inc. iOS Software License Agreement
Section 2C: You may not, and you agree not to or enable others to, copy (except as expressly permitted by this License), decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble, attempt to derive the source code of, decrypt, modify, or create derivative works of the iOS Software or any services provided by the iOS Software or any part thereof (except as and only to the extent any foregoing restriction is prohibited by applicable law or by licensing terms governing use of open-source components that may be included with the iOS Software).

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “verycoldbeer” for the heads up.]

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