How would you feel if you could run iOS apps on your Android device? How about your Windows or Linux PC? It’s undoubtedly been thought of before, but no one has made any real attempt at doing anything about it. Until now.
An extremely ambitious project has found its way to Kickstarter in search of some much needed funding. In theory, iEMU sounds relatively simple. Create an honest to goodness iOS emulator that runs on multiple platforms. The emulator will be based on the open-source emulator QEMU, with support for Samsung’s S5L8930. (Also known as the Apple A4).
At this point you might be thinking to yourself, “Emulators are old news.” There’s one for testing iOS apps on Mac, and you can play everything from NES to GameCube games on even the oldest PCs. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. And as a matter of fact, there is no iOS emulator for Mac. It’s a simulator, which isn’t the same as a virtualized version of an OS. Emulating all the hardware of a locked down device like the iPhone will be extremely hard. Project leader Chris Wade apparently already has the CPU working, but there’s still a long way to go. The GPU, multitouch, USB, cellular data and camera are just a few of the components that need to be cobbled together.
So why should you, an Android user, care? It’s not like iOS apps will be available on Android handsets right away (even though that is an end goal), but it’s a good start. A really good start. This project will lay the groundwork for making the ever-expanding Android OS that much more powerful. Imagine, if you will, a Nexus device that runs Ice Cream Sandwich and iOS apps. Or an HD2-esque device that can run Windows Mobile 8, Ubuntu, Android, Meego and emulate iOS well enough to take advantage of the Apple Appstore. That’s the next device I’d like to use. And this project is the first step.