Six students from the Columbia University computer science department developed Cider, software capable of using applications and games iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch on Android. To put it simply, Cider arrives to make an application believe that it is running on the Apple XNU kernel rather than the Android Linux kernel.
A demo video shows their work on a Nexus 7 (2012), smartphone on which we can see running iOS applications such as Yelp and Apple iBooks. Of course, performance is average due to the differences between the two OSes. However, using an operating system compatibility layer for native execution of iOS applications on Android is an impressive feat.
Since it is a prototype, the group notes that smartphones and tablets have many characteristics that applications expect to be able to use (GPS, cameras, bluetooth, etc.). As a result, Cider does not support these features, and the iOS apps that need them will fail to work if no fallback code is provided.
The good news is that the six students (Jeremy Andrus, Alexander Van’t Hof, Naser AlDuaij, Christoffer Dall, Nicolas Viennot, and Jason Nieh) plan to continue their research and the development of Cider. You can consult the entire research project on the PDF present at this address.