Developer’s teaching the Research In Motion’s once popular BlackBerry brand device which hasn’t made its way to the top in the tablet market. With the lack of apps available, unlike the enviable App Store for iOS and Android, now the developer managed to get iOS apps porting to the PlayBook in an easy way modding.
This news came directly from the CrackBerry forums, a dev called “Businesscat2000” has posted something really interesting-looking, an app player of sorts which can run native iOS apps on RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook tablet. Two videos posted to their YouTube account: one shows iOS games running on the PlayBook, the other shows the iOS version of Angry Birds running on Windows.
The developer also describes the mod as being an “iOS player of sorts” that runs iPhone/iPad/iPod touch apps on different platforms – basically, an iOS emulator. Various apps will run on it. While the games seems to work its best.
The program is demonstrated runnin a number of popular iOS apps and games, such as Super Monkey Ball, Tiny Tower, Tom Tom, Sushi Cat, iFart and more. The iOS emulator is also made available for other platforms like Windows.
Thinking that once-mighty BlackBerry Playbook stifled out buy the like of iOS and Android, one developer who created a mod which allows iOS apps to run on the almost forgotten Playbook tablet comes again to scene with an awesome iOS emulator. The video clips first surfaced last weekend as to whether the hack was genuine or not, CrackBerry’s Kevin Michaluk insisted Businescat2000 perform a couple of tests, such as writing “Hi CrackBerry”, to prove it was the real deal.
Remind you: Once HP TouchPad was done this way by installing Android mobile OS on it and made it run Android-based apps as well. But, this is not similar to that, with the PlayBook being considerably cheaper than even older iPad 2 and we are not telling you to go grab one PlayBook tablet for a hundered bucks and begin running the iWork suite in an seamless fashion, but it’s the best way to start.
Apart this, the emulator doesn’t emulate the iPad’s CPU, rather operating in a similar way to how WINE allows Windows applications on run on a Linux-based machine. He, the developer called “Businesscat200” describes his progress report with points:
“the app binary is mapped into memory and imports are resolved to point to my own implementation of the various APIs needed”.
However it won’t be showing any iOS app icons on your Playbook homescreen, the emulation software can load up 10 iOS apps at a time.
Between Apple’s iOS and PlayBook’s operating system certain similarities have made the hack that much easier:
iOS actually uses a few open APIs already, which Playbook supports just as well (GL ES, and OpenAL). The bulk of the work has been in implementing all of the objective C classes that are required (the infrastructure used to create Mac and iOS apps) in order to get the app up and running.
The ARM code of the applications run as-is – the armv6/v7 support on PB/iDevices are pretty much identical, and the code is designed to run in USR mode. No SWIs, GPIO accesses or any of that kind of shenanigans.
The apps that require UIWebView and CoreData can’t be implemented currently. Here’s the iOS Sketchbook Mobile app running on RIM’s tablet:
This video demo shows the Angry Birds for iOS running in a Windows environment:
This an exciting piece of work and the OS is simply powerful, and right now the only substantial leverage that the iPad has over the playbook is the app ecosystem. But with more hard work and ingenuity, we can see methods of running iOS apps on unsupported devices in future. Enjoy!