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Research project Cider brings iOS apps to Android devices

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cider-ios-apps-android-710x463Six Phd students at Colombia University have created Cider, a piece of software that allows Android-powered devices to run IOS apps. Rather than using a strict virtual machine, they achieved the feat by running domestic and foreign binaries on the same device.

Cider is an operating system compatibility architecture that can run applications built for different mobile ecosystems, iOS or Android, together on the same smartphone or tablet. Cider enhances the domestic operating system, Android, of a device with kernel-managed, per-thread personas to mimic the application binary interface of a foreign operating system, iOS, enabling it to run unmodified foreign binaries.

This is accomplished using a novel combination of binary compatibility techniques including two new mechanisms: compile-time code adaptation, and diplomatic functions. Compile-time code adaptation enables existing unmodified foreign source code to be reused in the domestic kernel, reducing implementation effort required to support multiple binary interfaces for executing domestic and foreign applications.

Diplomatic functions leverage per-thread personas, and allow foreign applications to use domestic libraries to access proprietary software and hardware interfaces.

You can read the full research project for yourself  here.

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