It’s no secret that Apple devices don’t have their bootloader unlocked like some Android devices but thanks to the checkm8 exploit, it’s possible to run code at very low levels meaning that other OSes can be booted. This has led to the porting of Android to the iPhone through Project Sandcastle which we’ll be looking at in this article!
Project Sandcastle brings Android 10 to the iPhone
While it may come as a surprise to some, this isn’t the first time that’s Android been ported to Apple’s iDevices as around a decade ago, the iDroid project was in full swing with it having brought Android versions up to Gingerbread (2.3) to the iPhone 2G, 3G and iPod Touch 1st generation.
However, the project eventually died down due to the sheer amount of hard work that was required and limited financial support from the community with support for later devices such as the iPhone 4, iPod Touch 4 and original iPad being left in an unfinished state although Android was booted on the iPhone 4 by @angelxwind in 2015.
Moving forward to the present, Corellium has just introduced Project Sandcastle which is a project that aims to port Android to modern iPhones. Through support from members of checkra1n’s and pongoOS’ teams which include Luca Todesco (@qwertyoruiop), Project Sandcastle released the an initial Android 10 build for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus which lets you run an AOSP version of the operating system. It must be noted that this project is still in beta and even on the iPhone 7/7+, not all features are supported as Cellular connectivity, GPU acceleration (may be an uphill battle to ever get this working) and audio among others are currently not working.
Without a doubt, this initial release is simply a glimpse of things to come as subsequent releases will probably be bringing support for other checkm8 compatible devices which include all devices that have the Apple A11 SoC or older including the iPhone X, 8(+) and many others. More can be read about the making of the port by going over to this link.
What’s the current status of the project on other devices? How do I get it?
Other than the iPhone 7 & 7 Plus, Luca Todesco has also managed to run Android on the iPod Touch 7th generation and hopefully, more devices will follow soon! (Source)
As things currently stand, a bootable image has only been provided for the iPhone 7 & 7 Plus but Project Sandcastle’s Status page demonstrates that work is going on for other models as well. As per this page, the iPhone 6/6S are somewhat close to having the same amount of hardware features supported as the iPhone 7/7+ have with the iPod Touch 7 being on par so it’s possible that we’ll soon be seeing an update bringing support for this device. On the iPad front, nothing seems to be mentioned but as they come with the same SoCs as iPhones and iPod Touches, we may eventually see support for them.
You can download the Android port for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus from this link and follow the instructions in the README. Currently, a computer running Macintosh or Linux is required and the APFS partition is mounted as read-only so that you don’t damage your iOS file systems. It must also be noted that the Play Store is not bundled so to install your own applications, some have suggested to send APKs over the Signal application that comes pre-installed.
I'm a girl that's liked technology from day 1. Mostly interested in the PSVita/PSP scene but I've always modded my stuff when it's possible, that is :)Contact me via DM at @KawaiiAuroraA on Twitter if you have any questions/concerns about my articles or if you have any article requests.