One of Apple’s biggest foes in the courtroom, Corellium, is making it possible for iPhone users to install Google’s Android operating system on Apple’s devices.
Corellium released the first public beta build of its Android for iPhone software today called Project Sandcastle. The software currently only works on a couple of iPhones but if you’ve ever wondered what it’d be like to have Android 10 running on Apple hardware, this is the closest you’re going to get.
Founded by former iPhone jailbreakers, Corellium creates iPhone virtualization tools that let security researchers run virtual iPhones on their desktop. Apple sued the company for commercializing the illegal replication of iOS. Those virtualization tools were critical in the development of Project Sandcastle, which is sure to irk Apple.
What is Project Sandcastle?
“Project Sandcastle is about having fun building something new from the sand—from the literal silicon of the hardware,” said Corellium CEO Amanda Gorton, in a statement sent to Forbes. “The iPhone restricts users to operate inside a sandbox. But when you buy an iPhone, you own the iPhone hardware. Android for the iPhone gives you the freedom to run a different operating system on that hardware.”
The biggest question surrounding Project Sandcastle is just simply “why?!” The functionality of Android for iPhone is pretty limited. You can’t use your iPhone’s camera or install apps from the Google Play Store. It doesn’t support your iPhone’s GPU, audio, Bluetooth, or cellular data.
Project Sandcastle only runs on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. More devices could be added in the future, but the company says it’s likely that it may not ever work on iPhones older than the 5S or newer than the X. The exploit it takes advantage of will likely never be patched by Apple though so if you’ve got an old iPhone 7 laying around, Project Sandcastle could be a fun way to play around with new possibilities on an old device.
Anyone interested in trying Android for iPhone can download the beta directly from the Project Sandcastle website. Installing it on your device does remove some of Apple’s privacy and security protections so proceed at your own risk.