New Project Enables iPhone to Run Android

By Chand Bellur

March 7, 2020 at 8:14 p.m. PDT

  • Software developer Corellium launched Project Sandcastle, enabling Android to run on the iPhone.
  • Project Sandcastle only works on iPhone 7 models, due to compatibility issues.
  • Pending litigation between Apple and Corellium may terminate Project Sandcastle.

Project Sandcastle Brings Android to the iPhone

Most iPhone users are perfectly happy with their device, however, some are born to fiddle. Whether it be intellectual curiosity or boredom, a small minority of iPhone owners choose to jailbreak their device, opening up a whole new world of technological possibilities.

Corellium, a small cyber security firm, has recently unveiled Project Sandcastle. The new technology allows two models of iPhone to run Android, albeit with severe limitations.

Project Sandcastle Only Supports iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

Running Android on an iPhone is an exciting notion. Doing so would reduce device consumption, as those who need to use both mobile operating systems would only need one device. Fewer devices are better for the environment and the end user’s wallet.

Unfortunately, Project Sandcastle leaves much to be desired. The technology only works on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. As it stands now, Project Sandcastle won’t support audio, cellular phone service and many other critical iPhone features. As the technology matures, it will likely support more devices and offer more, but not all, iOS functionality.

Apple Sues Corellium Over Project Sandcastle

Needless to say, Apple wasn’t pleased with Project Sandcastle. The Cupertino tech giant is now engaged in a lawsuit with Corellium over intellectual property. Although Project Sandcastle isn’t the crux of the lawsuit, Corellium’s iOS virtualization software is considered misuse of Apple’s intellectual property.

Virtualization allows multiple instances of an operating system to run on one physical machine. The technology is ubiquitous in data centers, where one physical server often hosts multiple virtual servers. Virtualization allows corporations to harness every last bit of CPU power from a machine, as any idle server processes can be used by another virtual server.

Apple’s hostility toward the company comes after a few carrots were offered. The Cupertino company first approached Corellium to present their findings to Apple’s Bug Bounty program. Later, Apple tried to acquire the company. As the latter attempts failed, Apple moved ahead with a lawsuit.

It’s unclear whether Project Sandcastle is a jab at Apple, or a way to show a judge and jury the value of their iOS virtualization technology. Corellium contends that their software is useful for research purposes. As it stands, the technology is hobbled, but it will likely never integrate with core Apple services, such as iCloud.

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