Apps and Software

Apple Apps on Android Device

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US computer scientists developed software that allows Android and Apple apps to run side-by-side.

Columbia University postgraduate researchers developed the software they called Cider.

This software lets owners of Android gadgets to combine iOS apps and Android apps they have downloaded on their phones or tablets.

According to the research team, they did not plan to turn Cider into a commercial product. They originally developed Cider only as a prototype.

The team, composed of six-strong researches, said they created the project with the goal to overcome the limitations that users of tablet and smartphones have to live by.

In the team’s academic paper on Cider, one example they cited is how Android users can’t gain access to apps that calls on media using Apple iTunes, while owners of iOS gadgets find it hard to use content that requires Flash.

According to the researchers, with Cider people could easily use just one gadget to access both apps iOS and Android apps.

The technique used to let an app written for a particular operating system to run in another device is called virtualisation.

To avoid the problems associated with virtualisation, the research team used a different approach where they use the Android OS’s kernel or core.

This approach works by filtering the instructions passing through the Android devices altering only those that relate to iOS apps. Another software helper gives the specialised data needed for the apps to work smoothly.

Another problem Cider will address in the future are issues of certain Apple apps performing poorly when used to call on a phone’s GPS system, Bluetooth and camera. The team will continue its research to address more problems like these among Android and Apple device users.

The researchers showed a demo video were a Nexus 7 tablet run both iOS and Android apps.

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