Aug 31 AT 12:15 PM Dustin Earley 31 Comments

Kickstarter project aims to bring iOS apps to Android

iOS AppStore

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.

Head on over to Kickstarter and, if nothing else, check it out. You can also keep up on the progress of iEMU here.

Source: Kickstarter

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • pekosROB

    If I wanted to run iOS apps, then I’d just get an iPod touch…

    • Kale Blossom

      I sold my ipod touch simply because I was tired of carrying around two apps. A few of the apps I’d LOVE to have on my android are not, nor will ever be(conversed with the developers) developed for android.

      • Kale Blossom

        oops, i meant carrying around two DEVICES. It was a hassle. Not to mention, working in a machine shop, a few metal chips wormed their way behind that one front button. NOT COOL. So now I use my old nano for music and leave it at work, and my android for everything else.

  • Bill

    It would be cool, but Apple would sue this out of existence ASAP…

    • Dustin Earley

      I’ve thought about that, and a ton of underground projects still flourish for iOS that Apple would love to kill.

    • Leonick

      Well if Apple didn’t I get a feeling many of the bigger App developers would, I get a feeling most people using this would be without paying for the actual app…

  • Tran Lang

    This proves how powerful Android is. I really want to see someday later developers can port Android to run on an iPhone and send it to Steve Jobs or Tim Cook as a gift. LOL

    • Dustin Earley

      I haven’t heard anything about this in such a long time. Nice.

  • Nathan

    This is good to hear being able to play ios app could be fun :)


    Although I get jealous that they have all the apps, I don’t know about this one.

    • Merridus

      Yes, i can see the higher quantity of apps being an advantage, but wouldn’t like to see Android exclusive developers get forgotten in the new swarm of applications available.

      • AME

        There’s nothing wrong with competition in the app world. Besides, I don’t see iOS emulated apps pushing any legit Android devs out of business.

        • Kale Blossom

          agreed. I prefer to buy from the android market. Not to mention, the apps developed specifically for android would be that much more stable. I’d only buy iOS apps as a last resort if there is no android equivalent.

  • AnonymousUser

    It would be awesome to see this work out.

    I still have an iTunes account from my old iPhone 3G on T-Mobile days, with apps purchased.

    Not to mention some of the apps on iOS look better in some ways then they do on Android.
    An example is the official Google Voice app. On the iOS version, it has tabs to sort out voicemails from texts, to even a dialer. I would love to see that on an Android device.

    And I don’t know why, but developers that have the same apps on both Android & iOS don’t even make them look as appealing on Android as they do on the iOS.
    Eye-Candy is awesome too.

    Obviously, I love Android over iOS or I would still be with the iPhone. Android is the better of the 2, hands down. But seeing some iOS apps on an Android couldn’t hurt, especially if we have paid for those apps previously.

  • kwills88

    I rather this said “IOS quality apps” as much as i dislike IOS/Apple i will admit their app quality is pretty good, especially their if android could have more apps at their quality or some how better…then i say bring it on.

  • mj-davies

    I would rather just see the same app quality on Android as their is on the respective iOS app. There’s a certain polish and consistency on iOS and it’s still a little lacking here. Although Facebook, Foursquare, et al have improved significantly in recent updates, and Google+ is superior to the iOS version (as it should be).

  • R.S

    I haven’t bothered to check out iOS apps in over a year when my iPod Touch was completely replaced by my Android phone. If something like this were to come out and was available inexpensively or free, I would of course check it out. After all, it would be nice to use those iOS apps I purchased.

    However, I would pay a hefty fee or go out of my way in order to be able to use something like this. iOS may have a lot more apps, but I’m perfectly happy with what’s available in the Android market. Especially since I don’t pay attention to iOS apps and thus don’t know what I’m missing, if Im missing out on anything at all.

  • Mark

    Not gonna happen. iOS only runs on Apple devices and that’s the way Apple wants it to be. Not only that but Apple would sue the fuck out of them. They should just stop while they haven’t done much damage. lol.

  • Michigan.gster

    iOS are much better and native. Stupid android fustercluck copycat apps….

  • jack schulz

    I don’t understand, if I wanted to run ios, I’d buy an apple. I don’t see the sense of it. All the apps I want have already been ported to Android. There’s nothing left of any use, thousands of apps that fart and duplicate other apps. No thanks

    • Kale Blossom

      All the apps YOU want. There’s a few I would still LOVE on my android, even through a majority of my apps are preferred over iOS.

      Kawaii Megu for android is a POS for instance, but for iOS its a really nice app. I dunno why but I want my megu! :O

  • bpear

    Have a Galaxy s ii and an ipad 2 (want a honeycomb tab :) ) and i think most of the good ios games/apps have already been ported or there are better/similar alternatives. Well there is a couple games on ios i would like on android, they are probably working on a port..

  • Futureboy

    There is a massive amount of music creation apps (and I’m sure other great apps) that haven’t made their way to Android yet – a ton of synths, instruments and even a few good DAWs. I would love to be able to run them on my phone (or future tablet). Though the Kickstarter project sounds intriguing, I would rather see them ported as native apps. This way, it would be a snap to get samples and original creations to and from an android device instead of having to jump through ihoops to get around the itunes restrictions for moving data.

  • andrpau

    Wow, the guy wants alot of money for what he says is 3-4 months of work… I did some math, and with all the expenses for gifts and webhosting removed from the $20,000, he ends up with $4300 per month for his own personal expenses…

    • Craig

      He’s a professional developer, not someone fresh out of college. That’s really not that bad, especially since he’ll have to pay taxes too, which will cut it down further.

      He seems to be more realistic about his goals than most of the media is portraying it as too. This will be good for research/debugging purposes on PCs/Macs. If he gets it running on an Android handset, there’s no way it will be fast enough to run games in comparable speeds to native apps.

  • droppedD

    qEmu is the basis for the official Android emulator for developers… and I can tell you as a professional developer it’s slow as molasses, even on my quad-core i7 Macbook Pro. There’s almost no conceivable way this will run at a reasonable speed for what its most useful consumer-aimed purposes would be (games, music apps like Garage Band); I think even if it does as well as could be imagined it’d have to remain purely a curiosity or developer’s tool rather than a practical means of running consumer iOS apps on Android.

  • Sean the Electrofreak

    In b4 the Apple lawsuit…

  • SliestDragon

    Cool project. I’ll be keeping up with this…

  • HackF0rce

    Too bad it got cancelled, was really looking forward to it, you can run Android apps on Blackberry now. lol.

  • pixy

    yes .. i like the android more than ios ….
    but still .. opening new apps for ma android phone will be really nice
    since there are always things u want on the other side …
    if u kickstarters did it ,, it will be revolutionary …
    you have ma support … i hope it get working soon …