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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Android Port For iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS Coming Along

It's been a lot of time since we got some news about Android on iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS. The latest successful port was on iPhone 3G and older devices. People having iPhone 3GS and A4 processors' devices still want to play with Google's system on their iOS devices.

Here come Joshua Tucker of ModMyi who made an interview with Nick Pack, that developer behind iDroid projects and who made the last port. Full interview quoted below.

JOSH: How many members are on the current team working on the 3GS and A4 Android port?
NICK: There are presently 4 people working on the A4 & 3GS ports.

JOSH: What coding experience and expertise is required to work on the Android port?
NICK: A strong knowledge of: C, ARM Assembler and general hardware knowledge for OpeniBoot and the kernel, Java & C knowledge for Android.

JOSH: In terms of percentage, how far along are you in the port development? Is there any current hurdles that are making the process more complicated? If so, can you elaborate?
NICK: Both the A4 and 3GS OpeniBoot ports are somewhere in the region of 60% complete. Currently the team is working on the FTL which is one of the most complex parts of OpeniBoot, then we'll move on to the kernel. And finally after that, we'll start on libraries for Android (the radio interface layer, sensors library etc.).

JOSH: Have you been able to emulate the Android platform at all on the 3Gs or A4 yet?
NICK: At the present time, both the OpeniBoot ports for 3GS and A4 devices aren't far enough along for there to be any userland yet. Once the bootloader is ported then kernel drivers need to be written and various userland libraries written to accompany them. The team are working on one of the most complex parts of the bootloader at the present time; the FTL and filesystem drivers. This is a painstakingly slow and complex task, but once completed, we'll be able to boot a linux kernel from the NAND flash.

JOSH: How long has the team been working on the Android port for the respective devices? Do you have any tentative ETA at this point or are you just "done when you're done?"
NICK: Work on the A4 port started late last year, but progress was slow due to there being a lack of skilled developers on the team to work on it. In the recent few weeks, the port has accelerated drastically. The 3GS port was started a couple of months back but lessons learned from the A4 port helped to bring it inline quickly. Due to the nature of the project, it is completly impossible to estimate just how long these things take. This is mainly due to the sheer volume of reverse engineering that has to be done, but we are working with largely undocumented and uncommon hardware so it comes with the territory.


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