Technology. You just can’t wrap your head around it.

There was a time when it was actually somewhat fruitful to brag about certain apps that might be exclusive to one platform. Well, if we talk about a certain fruity company, say Apple, these days could well be behind us.

Students at Columbia University have come up with a neat trick for making iOS binaries think that they are running on Apple hardware. That is, if app binaries were capable of thinking for themselves!

But really, it is now possible to run iOS apps on say, Android tablets.

Dubbed Cider (creative, creative), this nifty little tool is basically an operating system compatibility architecture that can be used to run applications built for different mobile ecosystems. From iOS to Android, Windows Phone and beyond.

This blurry video shows the native execution of iOS apps on Android:

And you can read up on all the official juicy details, and how things work in this PDF file that Jeremy Andrus, Alexander Van’t Hof, Naser AlDuaij, Christoffer Dall, Nicolas Viennot, and Jason Nieh have put together in a rather elaborate fashion.

Now, obviously, this is just an early, early stage for a tool like this.

Only if it is packaged in a user friendly virtualization environment, and all compatibility issues due to hardware differences are ironed out, could it pose a threat to Apple and its iTunes Store. All this, understandably, is still a few leagues away.

But the technology, ladies and gentlemen, is here.

And with it, the days of boasting about app exclusives, in the past.

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  1. The real question is what does this mean for Microsoft? Are they in more trouble because of this option or does it have no effect?

  2. Now combine this with BlueStacks and you can run iOS and Android apps on a Windows (non ARM) tablet.

    • Steve Fulton / May 14, 2014 at 4:21 pm /Reply

      Good point. Best of all worlds in that scenario. At least for people that like more than one OS (Not my thing).

      • Yep the only issue would be speed. iOS apps would be running through 2 levels of emulation, and that’s not going to be super fast.

        • That’s true, JKor. At this point speed has to be the biggest issue with it. However, 5 years from now, that may not even be an issue.

  3. Damian Vansen / May 16, 2014 at 6:32 am /Reply

    I used to be excited about this kind of ability until I used it. I don’t know about other peoples’ experiences but I usually find it a very frustrating and unfullfilling experience using non-native apps on Os’s (Bluestacks, ACL running Android on WebOs etc.) with the exception of Blackberry 10.2 running Android apps.

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