How to run Android on an iPhone

Also in today's open source roundup: 7 Android launchers that change the look of your phone, and Endless OS versus Chrome OS

android on iphone
Credit: Tendigi

How to run Android on an iPhone

Android has long battled Apple's iPhone in the smartphone marketplace, but have you ever wondered what it might be like to run Android on an iPhone? Tendigi has created a case that lets iPhone owners run Android on their Apple devices.

Nick Lee reports on Medium:

You heard me. The holy war is over, brethren. At Tendigi, we've designed and built a case that allows iPhone devotees to sample the best Mountain View has to offer. Join me as I outline the steps taken to achieve this feat, as well as the numerous pitfalls encountered along the way.

Despite some obvious drawbacks, Android has a killer feature that made this project possible: (virtually) the entire operating system is open-source. The Open Handset Alliance (a consortium of carriers, phone manufacturers, and software developers led by Google) maintains the Android Open Source Project. The AOSP is the foundation of all device-specific flavors of Android shipped on phones from manufacturers like Motorola, HTC, LG, etc. For a platform of its scale, it's surprisingly easy to clone it out and build it on your local machine. From scratch, I was able to develop an efficient AOSP workflow in about two days.

With these criteria in mind, I chose the Lemaker HiKey. While its 8-core, 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 processor has more than enough power to run virtually any Android app on the market, it sports a unique party piece: it's the official reference board of the Android Open Source Project. As a result, most of the HiKey's necessary components are included directly in the AOSP source tree (a lifesaver). That said, getting my custom AOSP build to run successfully was still a tall order, requiring me to (among other things) recompile the kernel with performance-oriented tweaks to the USB driver.

Once I had a clear idea of component size and layout, I scaled the 3D model to a more reasonable size and added openings for the SD card, HDMI and USB ports. It's not too much thicker than the average battery case.

More at Medium

7 Android launchers that change the look of your phone

Android has always allowed its users great freedom in controlling how it looks, and that includes being able to install launchers. A writer at Gizmodo has a list of 7 Android launchers that will change the look of your phone.

David Nield reports for Gizmodo:

One of the main differences between Android and iOS is the way you can transform the look of Google's operating system, down to the very last pixel. Alternative launcher apps re-skin Android, changing not just wallpaper, colors, and icons, but the layout of the interface itself.

It's also ridiculously easy to return to your default launcher after you're done experimenting with new ones. To go back to your original home screen, navigate to the Home menu in Settings. From this menu, you can switch between launchers or remove them from your system entirely. With that in mind, here are seven of the best launcher apps available for Android.

Arrow

Nova

Apex

ZenUI

Go

Buzz

Aviate

More at Gizmodo

Endless OS versus Chrome OS

Google's Chrome OS has proven to be quite popular with many users, but how does it stack up against a Linux distro like Endless OS? A writer at Datamation has a head to head comparison between the two operating systems.

Matt Hartley reports for Datamation:

Over the years, I've seen a number of attempts to create the first truly use anywhere, idiot-proof Linux PC. And until recently, Chromebooks (anything with ChromeOS) was easily the winner.

Then a PC company known as Endless did something that really surprised me – they released their highly customized version of Ubuntu GNOME into something everyone could try. Will it beat out ChromeOS in terms of access, simplicity and overall value? Let's take a gander and find out.

I think if you're looking to install an operating system for someone on an existing computer, you should consider something like Ubuntu MATE, Linux Mint, PCLinuxOS, or Elementary OS. The reason why I say this is that with companies like Google and Endless, they need to have “skin in the game” in order to be motivated to offer support. A free OS simply doesn't provide this and thus, is best supported by the Linux community.

Now comes the scathing part that I'm a bit surprised to admit. Endless OS is without a doubt, the easiest to follow, best laid out for non-computer people OS I've ever seen. Endless takes the best of Ubuntu and GNOME, wraps it up with a super-easy layout that is designed for the newest of computer users and blows my mind. Still, there are some things I'd like to see added.

More at Datamation

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