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Cider Project: Run iOS apps on Android (columbia.edu)
166 points by dnt404-1 on Aug 19, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 102 comments



“Users no longer need to be locked into one platform. Being able to write an app once and run it anywhere has been a long-sought-after goal and a very hard problem to solve.”

This is naive, stupid, or both. There never was a technical cause of lock in (as indeed the Apportable people are not alone in demonstrating), it's purely an artificial business construct with the surmountable technical hurdles being very convenient.

It's well within Apple's capabilities to launch the media consumption parts of iTunes on Android, like on Windows PCs, but it should be kind of telling that they don't.

One of the lessons of my career so far is never underestimate the ability of people to assume that problems are primarily technical in nature when actually the real problem is something else. Technical excuses can often be used for after the fact justification of management decisions.


I actually know the engineer who used to be responsible for porting some of the technologies you're talking about to non-Apple platforms.

According to this person, the barrier is not some strategic lock-in plan at Apple. The barrier is more about business incompatibilities.

For example. It's fully possible for Apple to ship an iCloud SDK for Windows. But the way iCloud works is, it's integrated deeply with each application. It is believable that your average iOS app, or your average Mac app, would be willing to integrate with iCloud's SDK. But is it believable that your average Windows app will? Will Microsoft do the work to integrate the iCloud SDK with Office on Windows? Of course not! The idea is preposterous.

Far more likely is that Microsoft's own SkyDrive or will become standard on Windows, or maybe Dropbox will, which is designed in such a way that it doesn't have to integrate with anybody's product. Apple could have designed iCloud in a way that didn't require third-party support, and maybe they should've, but they didn't. And anyway that would be a completely different thing than the way iCloud is used right now.

Apple has the willingness, particularly post-Jobs, to license some things to other platforms. Especially if it grows their own ecosystem, and a lot of Apple's stack falls into that category. But getting the deal done has more ingredients than just Apple being willing and some end-user who wants it. You can't say, merely because there is no technical barrier, that clearly every time an Android user buys a book from Kindle instead of the iBookstore that Tim Cook cackles with glee. I pretty much guarantee he'd be interested in getting a deal done on that.


I actually thought it odd that they would cite iTunes as a feature that Android users would want.

iTunes on Windows is one of the worst pieces of software by a major company...ever. If I want to buy music or video I can do it through Amazon, and I have vastly more trust for Amazon's pricing structures. (Remember the anti-trust suit that Apple lost? The one that found them guilty of artificially keeping eBook prices high? And now we have Amazon fighting with another publisher to get them to agree to lower eBook prices...)


My experience with iTunes on Windows when I had an iPod Touch 2G was the main reason I initially purchased an Android phone when I first got a smartphone.


Yes, you should definitely trust the pricing of the company that started out the ebook business selling best-sellers for less than they had to pay in royalties to publishers. I mean, it couldn't possibly have been an attempt to drive competitors out of the space...


Umm...competitors? [Citation Needed]

What I remember is that Amazon created the e-book space, for all intents and purposes.

And the reason they undercut the royalty price was to create that market. People didn't want to spend $20 or more to buy an electronic copy of a book they could buy for less in physical form. People aren't stupid: If they aren't getting a physical item they can then hand to their friends and/or sell, then what they're getting has less value.

Heck, I still get annoyed by crazy-high eBook prices. An eBook should absolutely ALWAYS cost less than the physical copy. If there are 500 copies available used for $0.01 on Amazon, then it shouldn't be more than about $5 (paying a bit for the convenience of having a digital copy -- those $0.01 copies typically add ~$4 in shipping costs), and yet you can find $8-10 price on a Kindle edition. [1]

Amazon has a very strong customer focus. [2] That results in lower prices. It also makes it harder for competition, yes, but that "customer obsession" has become core to the culture at Amazon.

[1] First one I found: http://www.amazon.com/Against-All-Enemies-Tom-Clancy-ebook/d... -- it turns out many of the $.01 books are only $6 on Kindle, which is better than I thought, but it wasn't hard to find one greater than $8.

[2] See the first "leadership principle" on this page: http://www.amazon.com/Values-Careers-Homepage/b?ie=UTF8&node...


iTunes on Mac however is pretty good


> One of the lessons of my career so far is never underestimate the ability of people to assume that problems are primarily technical in nature when actually the real problem is something else.

Amen. When I'm feeling trollish around my tech friends, I'll insist that mobile, not fiber, is the future of the internet, or that mailing DVDs is better than streaming. The former because the OTA market allows new entrants, easier competition. The latter because licensing costs are a red queen problem, and make building a full catalog impossible.

Those are mostly argument starters, but really each just based on getting people to admit one idea: technology isn't the final arbiter of efficiency/inefficiency. Legal and economic considerations are sometimes the trump suit.


Having dealt with many of the dozens of hybrid platforms, I can assure you that most are slow, poorly integrated, and end up with hard-to-solve UX bugs in any complex application. This is because most of them are based upon producing Javascript and HTML5 with only a few native features.

I know that Apple doesn't want Android versions of their own applications, but there is no excuse why we have to have a discussion about Android first or Apple first for startups if the hybrid solutions were actually sufficient. In practice, there is always a tradeoff.

Also, Apple likes to write SDK features which break their security model that only they may use in their own apps.


This may be true - but in the so called 'AAA' video games industry at least, it's become increasingly common to provide OS X ports of Windows games by simply packaging them up with a wrapper coincidentally called Cider - https://www.transgaming.com/cider

Edit: Seems like the Android<->iOS Cider team have realised this and renamed to 'Cycada'


... we reused existing iOS frameworks and libraries in our approach, avoiding the difficult and complex reimplementation effort of Wine.

Cool, but it's against Apple's EULA to run the iOS binaries on non-Apple hardware, so unfortunately this project suffers from the same problem as emulators that require you to acquire the original firmware somehow.


> but it's against Apple's EULA

This is Hacker News, right?


I always read it as "Hacker" in the traditional sense of the term, not the alarmist media "OMG!!H4qq0r" sense of the word. Hacking used to simply mean programming.


"Hacking used to simply mean programming"

Did it though? I thought it referred to finding creative solutions to problems that often incorporated programming. Was anyone really considered to be hacking if they were writing tic tac toe in Basic?


Of course. If you were the first to write tic tac toe in basic on the VIC-20, in the early 80's (or on something else in the 50's,etc)


Hacking used to mean anyone using a keyboard.


The term "hacker" implies rule-bending to solve real problems in a productive way, whether you're bending the rules of a programming environment or a legal construct like an EULA. Adherence to contracts is not mandatory for something to qualify as a traditional hack.


Let it go man, the days of hacker meaning anything other than "dude that uses a computer" are dead. I know what you mean, I remember the "hacker" ethos that was willing to throw middle fingers in the air EULA, but this crowd doesn't even seem aware of the difference between that crowd as "hackers" and people popping boxes as "hackers." Or the handful of other types of people covered by the always-vague "hacker". The internet community you're looking for is no longer a sizable portion of the people into tech, personalities expanded as as the field grew. And you're sure not going to find what you're talking about in a corner where the people here primarily for money congregate.

To summarize, the internet pissing match between if it meant "cracker" or something more akin to "respected technologist" was won by a late entrant: "using the cachet a label the former two groups built to sell a job to someone that is neither."

Or, to summarize the summary: The moment Paul Graham's writing told me I was a hacker, I knew I irrevocably wasn't.


Let's just return to the old terminology. Hax0r news.

;)


Perhaps it's actually "Hacker" News.


Hacker != Cracker


Sometimes Hacker == Cracker, if the crack is particularly clever.


Sometimes boolean , if the crack is particularly clever.


The EULA isn't all that important actually. It's the copyright. It's illegal to distribute copyrighted software without permission.

As long as they don't distribute that copyrighted code or derivations of that code then they should be okay. The end user then has to find a legal way to get a copy of that code.


If you download the XCode developer tools, you can extract the libaries from the .dmg using 7zip on windows


UNtil you build things like this there is no incentive to change the EULA, with something liberating like this it can force political change. Make it open source and it cannot die.


I thought the EULA doesn't count for much, especially in Europe?


You'd still have to get the binaries yourself from a device as Apple still own the copyright.


It doesn't not anywhere. You bough the device, do as you please.


Can Apple can stop the research team releasing the source code?

The research project was partly funded by NSF grants, so does that mean the public have the right to see all work related to the project?

I ask because the lead researcher, Jeremy Andrus, is now employed by Apple and wrote this on the YouTube video:

"I have started a job with Apple, and will not be continuing work on this project. The team at Columbia will probably be doing some follow up work, but I won't be involved from here on out."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uaple0Ec1Dg

http://systems.cs.columbia.edu/files/wpid-asplos2014-cider.p...


> The research project was partly funded by NSF grants, so does that mean the public have the right to see all work related to the project?

For better or worse, no. NSF funding brings requirements for data sharing, but does not automatically trigger code availability.


I worked on code that was NSF funded and only most of the source was ever released, it had to do with using code that we were permitted to use for research purposes but not release and some patents.


They can probably try, but I doubt they would succeed.


Here's a comment from this project's creator on the demo video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uaple0Ec1Dg):

I have started a job with Apple, and will not be continuing work on this project. The team at Columbia will probably be doing some follow up work, but I won't be involved from here on out.

So basically Apple has tried to kill or at least slow down the release of this to the public (he's obviously talented, I'm just saying that killing progress on this project likely factored somewhere into the hiring decision).


Or maybe, just maybe, someone who has spent this much time developing a VM for Apple's software architecture has a great skillset and would be a welcome addition to one of Apple's teams.

The same exact thing happened to the guy behind ReactOS (an Open Source Windows NT replacement). The guy became /so/ familiar with Windows that he eventually got a job on the actual Windows Kernel team.


Of course he'd have a great skillset, but still, he won't be working on the project. May be, just may be, Apple had different intentions behind taking this man in.


I'm not saying it was aliens, but...


I don't get why hackers want to work at such large companies. If someone has over about 50 employees or about 10 million backing, I don't see what's interesting about it.

edit (due to the downvotes): Sorry, this was an honest question. I've been working for about 15 years and have always been really put off by the institutional structure of large companies ... the constitution of them just doesn't work for the kind of green-field I'm (and I thought most hackers) are looking for.

I wasn't trying to be negative or deleterious --- I really didn't get it.


Bigger paycheck, better benefits, better job security, less and more predictable hours, access to amazing tech.


Oh yes, what I call the "family argument" (work rules are different if you have a spouse and kid). I always forget about that one. Makes perfect sense. Sorry about that - it was pretty obvious.


You also have the time budget to do things correctly, unlike start ups.


that was definitely one of my motivations for joining a large company.


I'm not trying to be argumentative here, but does that honestly come through?

I routinely turn down offers from the big players because I imagine once I'm in, it's going to be like the movie Brazil.

I've worked for three large companies as a non-contractor - and I mean maybe I just didn't have the right title but I found the following (in all three):

* I was prohibited from working on broken things that I was capable of fixing but I wasn't assigned to - even if nobody else was addressing them ... Almost as if there's some internal taxonomy model which strictly defines my role as X and only X. Having things lay broken is so frustrating to me.

* Pointing out that projects are on a steady course for derailment and failure was discouraged. Recommending any fix whatsoever was completely a prohibitive.

* Questions like "what does the client want?" or "Can I ask the client a question" always came back with things like "That's not your job".

* Proposals to big payoffs for small LOEs that would substantially improve the project always got shot down. Probably because the "from" field of the email was wrong.

* Creativity, innovation, and working on big new problems was incredibly discouraged. The concept that I have more than just one ability appears either cognitively impossible or structurally incompatible.

I got a nice paycheck - the work was relatively stable and secure, and everything was running smoothly --- but I was completely wasting years of my life.

On the contrary, all the small companies I've worked for have been the exact opposite. It's not that I necessary want to do contract negotiations and SOW writeups, but it gives clarity and purpose that I was just unable to get from the larger firms.

I mean again, maybe it's because my resume doesn't say "PhD, Stanford" on it - I don't know.

Has your experience been dramatically different?


>I was prohibited from working on broken things that I was capable of fixing but I wasn't assigned to - even if nobody else was addressing them

Coming from the other side, that's frustrating to me too. I was working with a broken tool that the vendor wanted $200,000 to fix. I hacked together a shell script over the course of a few weeks that eased my pain, but required I work in a Linux virtual machine. I would have loved to port it to something that works on Windows like Python, but it was just glue over awk and sed and trim, and I have no idea how to replace those in any other language.

But you know who did have that knowledge? Our resident programmer. But every time I brought it up to the boss that he should work on it and get it running on Windows, the answer was "he has more important things to do, and if he has time to work on your side project, he needs more work to do". Literally. And in the next breath, the boss said "we need that script to follow our programming practices" aka Windows and Java. I'm not a damn programmer! But we do have one on the team!


Don't bring it up to the boss, he was probably trying protect his 'human resource turf' to meet his goals. He is evaluated on the performance & management of his team and your request was probably against that evaluation. Try talking to the programmer directly or maybe his boss and bring it up in a 'for the entire company' way.


i can't speak for all big companies, but i'm happy at google, and a large part of that is that everyone i work with cares about doing things the right way, and is willing to budget the time to do so. for another datapoint, my girlfriend works at salesforce, and she is not just supported but encouraged to work on innovative projects and big new problems.

when i was working at startups one of my largest sources of stress was having to constantly rush shoddy products out of the door because people were obsessed with beating some real or hypothetical competitor to market, never mind that any clients we did get to install our products either gave up early or tied us up with loads of support issues that we again had to fix on a quick-release, ad-hoc basis rather than systematically and correctly.

incidentally my resume says "phd dropout", so if the lack of a big-name university on your phd makes you disinclined to apply to places like google or salesforce, you should at least reconsider. in my experience these companies care a lot less about that sort of branding than they possibly did in the past.


Startups are stressful whether you have a family or not. It's understanding why someone wouldn't want to be involved. For better or worse, if you're not interested in making waves, bigger companies usually offer nicer work environment for their employees. There's less stress, less drama, and more comfort. Emotions are much milder and perks are much more significant.


Take the folks at Walmart Labs (http://www.walmartlabs.com/) for instance, NodeJS hackers working on the backend powering Walmart's mobile commerce. A small percentage of hackers will get a chance to work on problems and devise solutions at the sort scale they work on.

You certainly won't see similar challenges if you limit your scope to companies with less than 50 people and less than 10 million in funding. Unless you are a founder or maybe a first hire that would seem to preclude you from almost any interesting company coming out of SV in the last 15 or so years.


Why? If a large company is organised correctly (and I'm not saying that MS is for a second) then you aren't interacting with those over >49 employees. In return you might have access to huge datasets, or at the least huge audiences. And as for financial backing... having a ton of money available is very interesting to many hackers, because it allows them to do a great many things.

Not ever hacker is a startup entrepreneur.


Small companies rarely have the resources to let people work on interesting projects with no immediate obvious commercial viability. You'll never see the equivalent of Microsoft Research in a startup, say.


I think if Apple wanted to kill this they could just C&D or sue them or something. They probably wanted this guy for his actual skills.


It may not be cut and dry to kill it legally. While they probably could do so on a patent or EULA case, if the guy is willing, it's a lot cheaper to just offer him a run-of-the-mill salary and employment package. As soon as he becomes an employee, any substantive future contribution to the project is instantly tainted, even if it's just documentation or giving hints to the new maintainers. At that point, Apple would have a very solid trade secret case, amplified by copyright claims and the violation of the prerequisite NDA.

Similar projects know to stay really, really far away from anyone associated with the company whose product they're duplicating. WINE wants nothing to do with you if you've ever come within 500 feet of Microsoft's source code. If the project's founder is willing to give up that easily, it's certainly an easy, cheap way to kill off such a project.


Yeah, but then they look heavy handed and the cost is probably relatively similar. Not to mention that they get the net gain of the skills.

It seems highly likely that Apple has some interest in protecting their brand. Part of the whole "Most amazing phone we've ever made" is the implication that the things you can do on iPhone can't be done on commodity hardware. This would undermine that in a way.

To say there is no way they would hire instead of doing a C&D if that was the motive is really silly. We don't know why they did it, but we can basically assume they know he was doing that before the hiring process.


Ha. I understand the urge to jump there.

This is nothing but a research project that does not mean much in the real world. It got that person a job at Apple. So that's a win for that individual. I don't think one can expect more out of the project really.


Sir, 'Google' was once "nothing but a research project".


From his perspective, you're absolutely right. But if this had actually seen the light of day, it would have been really, really cool.


He did have the option to say no.


> "a new system that can run iOS apps on an Android device for the first time"

We at Apportable (YC W2011) have been doing that for 3 + years in a much for commercially viable way. We strive for source compatibility and are not building an emulator that requires taking libraries from an iOS device.


Your way requires the developer to use Apportable to port an iOS app to Android. If the developer has agreed with Apple to not port the app to Android, it will never be available.

Their way gives the power to the user. The user copies across iOS app binary and system libraries and it's done.

Basically, your way empowers the developer, their way empowers the user.

You need to be commercially viable because your investors demand it. The price you charge developers may prevent some developers from porting their app.

They don't need to be commercially viable because they're a research project. If they release their source code, the community of hackers will develop a free and easy to install system to allow users to run any iOS app on Android.


> If the developer has agreed with Apple to not port the app to Android, it will never be available.

This is not in the developers interests usually. I have heard release exclusives but they all almost have expiration dates.

> Their way gives the power to the user. The user copies across iOS app binary and system libraries and it's done.

While it may empower users, it's not widely practical. (IANAL) You also have a problem that it's near impossible to get the apps off the device (you can download them with iTunes on the desktop though), then you have to decrypt them of their FairPlay encryption, and then transfer them to an Android device without possibly violating several licenses, the DMCA, and few copyrights along the way.

Providing an SDK for developers to cross compile their apps means that the apps are built and optimized specifically for Android when compiled and the distribution is not an issue for the developers because it's just like any other app on Android. It also allows the developer to integrate and provide support for system features specifically on Android.

> They don't need to be commercially viable because they're a research project.

It's not that it's not commercially viable but that highly impractical. It's will be hard to distribute and make very accessible and usable for users.


Is it fair to say that Apportable : Objective-C :: Xamarin : C#?


more pedantically Approtable : native :: Xamarin : CLR

As part of a thought experiment I got Mono running on top of Apportable's platform (I used to work on Mono myself ironically). We just work at a lower level at Apportable.

Xamarin has great high level tools for developing apps if you want to write in C#. We rely on the tools the developers already use and know (mainly Xcode) to develop for other platforms while also providing you a native userland that has most of the same native APIs and frameworks you find on iOS (and most Unix like environments) that you don't get on Android out of the box.


"The user copies across iOS app binary and system libraries and it's done."

So, the user gets to violate the Apple copyrights. sigh


I'll violate Apple copyrights until the day I die. Copyright is protectionist, monopolist bullshit, and it gets in the way of empowering users--and "empowering users" is the only ethical purpose of technological development. Anything else will merely work to reinforce existing imbalanced power structures.

Additionally, copyright doesn't disallow you from copying a file from one device you own to another. Copyright is about the distribution of ideas between people, not about arrangements of bits.


I'm curious: Would you have the same stance if you released some (non-free) software or a non-free hardware product and it was really successful? Would you want people to ignore the copyright then? Would you be happy for it to show up entirely cloned in the far East?

People seem to have this disgust of Copyright / paying for music / paying for films / paying for software and justify it with vague arguments about "fat cats" and "sticking it to the man" but then would obviously object to people taking their own stuff....


Piracy and dismissal of copyright isn't an egalitarian act of rebellion; it's a humanist recognition of the right of any person to freely engage with the world around them. I have enough material wealth, and if I make something that's actually useful it would be great to see people building versions of it that better suit their specific needs.

That said, it is fun to say "fuck the man", and often doing the right thing coincides with it for a while. Rhetoric like that can be a good way to get some people out of their comfort zones on topics like copyright, and then more nuanced analysis can lead to the realization of the importance of building sustainable, respectful means of production. DRM, Copyright, etc. are net losses to society. They may be the only way 100mm-dollar-budget movies can exist, but I think it's better to have a culture where the people have democratic control over the objects of their culture instead of being at the mercy of content conglomerates, cease-and-desist letters for fan works, and geographic youtube restrictions.


If I had some copyright on software that I sold, would you be happy copying and dismissing my copyright then?

You may say that copyright is a loss to society, but as an individual that is part of the society, I would be losing out from your infringement of my copyright. That would mean that my individual loss would equate to a loss within that society.

Or am I not part of society? Does my copyright mean nothing to you?


Copyright is fundamentally open to interpretation. Android users may have a reasonable fair use case, regardless of what Apple says.


> If the developer has agreed with Apple to not port the app to Android

Exclusives in the mobile industry are vanishingly rare. This wasn't always the case; Nvidia had a bunch of exclusive games (or at least exclusive on Android; they were mostly iOS ports) when they brought out the Tegra 2, and Samsung and Amazon have occasionally had time-limited exclusives on high-profile properties like Angry Birds, but it doesn't really make much sense for the developer, and seems to have largely stopped.


You're saying that Apportable lets users run iOS apps on Android? Just from briefly looking at your site, it looks like you just enable developers to easily port iOS apps to Android. In my view those are two completely different things.


Oh, boy. I was seriously addicted to EyeLord for a little while. If I want to build an Obj-C app for Android, is https://github.com/apportable/NDKSignalTest a good place to start?


That's an awesome bug test case. I guess if you are the kind of dev that likes to start by copying StackOverflow question code (and not the SO answer code), then that is a perfectly acceptable project to start with to get started with to make successful apps on Android. :-)

Also I have an urge to pop some eye balls in EyeLord right now.


In general Apportable sounds great. But in reality - we see little results, relatively. Lots of IOS only apps, still. None of the big guys, who would surely be interested in offering devices/app-stores with full access to ios apps have bought you.

So i wonder: why is that gap between the marketing and reality ? and maybe an emulator will close that gap ?


Is it the technology you doubt? If so, you can easily try out apportable and see it for yourself.

There are a lot of reasons why people don't use Apportable, most of them don't have anything to do with Apportable's actual technology. Those reasons include: not willing to pay for it, and the fact that iOS design patterns (human interface guidelines) are completely different from Android design patterns. You cannot simply port over the exact same buttons and table views from iOS. Apportable will port those over just fine, but you basically need to redesign the entire app to be different on Android to have something that isn't jarring. At which point you may as well write everything in Java.


> None of the big guys, who would surely be interested in offering devices/app-stores with full access to ios apps have bought you.

To do that, they'd need developer cooperation. Developers are notoriously unwilling to deal with any app stores but the Apple and Google ones; look at the state of the Amazon and particularly the Samsung ones.


But the focus is on games. I am developing an app that is not a game that makes heavy use of UIKit and core animation... When can I use apportable realistically?


We started with games and it's most of what you see on the site, but it's never been our only focus.

If you hit our sales team up at contact@apportable.com, we have product that is in beta that you could get access to that might work for you.


there are all kinds of cool iOS apps that they cannot run, like iTunes and iMessage

Really? iTunes is cool? I'm yet to see someone who likes it, including my friends who are big time iOS fans.


I doubt they mean iTunes the desktop application; the "music" player on iOS is called "Music.app".

As far as iTunes as a main music library manager; it's very, very good (though iTunes 12 has soured me on it a bit).

On <insert name of popular private torrent tracker>, which is known it's users having tens of thousands of FLAC file libraries, iTunes still rates pretty decently among people running OS X.


I may be in a minority, but I actually like iTunes. It handles my music library for me, has good OS integration, and looks nice with all album covers in albums section.


Yeah, there are some great iOS only apps but those certainly aren't on the list.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uaple0Ec1Dg

Besides the legal obstacles to making this commerically viable, there are technical ones too:

Unfortunately this technology is quite a bit more complicated than a simple .apk download - it involves system-wide changes including a modified Linux kernel.


There was a similar project a couple of years ago, where someone got iOS apps running on a BlackBerry Playbook: http://crackberry.com/developer-gets-ios-apps-running-blackb...

At the time, I said that RIMM/BlackBerry should do whatever they could to acquire this technology, enhance it, and bundle it with BB10. Combined with BB10's already-demonstrated capability to run Android apps, it could have meant "the best of all possible worlds" for BB owners...the ability to run apps from the two most popular competing platforms, on a platform that's much more secure and higher-performing.


"...we reused existing iOS frameworks and libraries in our approach..."

Ah. Awesome work, but not commercially viable. :(


For a minute I thought this was announcing that Cider[1] now supports iOS -> Android (Cider is currently existing tech used for porting Windows games to OS X, based on Cedega/Wine).

[1]: https://www.transgaming.com/cider


Transgaming did add iOS and Android support a few months ago!

https://www.transgaming.com/news/transgaming-announces-new-l...


Apps on iOS are encrypted and they say they use some modified script from a jailbreak to decrypt the apps. So for this to work, they need a jailbroken device to decrypt the apps first. So not future proof as well.


They're only encrypted when they go to the App Store. You can make a .ipa file and install it on your own/jailbroken devices without it ever being encrypted. It's extremely easy to decompile it and get variable names, string values and stack traces too.


This is pretty cool. There's a demo of it running on a Nexus 7[0]. -- [0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uaple0Ec1Dg


“I have started a job with Apple, and will not be continuing work on this project.”


Sigh I saw this over a year ago and still no release???


So what are the chances that this will get released in some sort of end-user friendly format? If the original developers don't do it will others be able to apply the ideas now that they are proven to work?


Seems way more commercially focused than is reasonable given that it is NSF funded, especially given the fact that there is nothing technically insurmountable that locks users into one eco-system vs the other.


There were a couple of attempts at similar stuff before, I was working on a similar thing (called Magenta) but I kind of lost motivation a long time ago.


Looks like they recently changed the name to Cycada.



The pirates say their thanks.


Awesome! We, at MyAppConverter are going beyond iOS to Android by also tackling the other mobile dev platforms. Besides, no runtime, no SDK to download. Our solution is based on Semantic Driven Code Transformation and Model Driven Engineering. We are currently doing private beta and will be coming out soon. Cheers.


Big up to myappconverter, There is documentation for your app


Its actually not an app but a code conversion service. Initially the service has been proposed as a full cloud based service but we are also working to release a code conversion plug-in for Xcode and ADT. Instead of uploading his code, the developer will perform the conversion within his preferred IDE. www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcFG_XbRrb0. Full doc will be available soon on gh.


Cheers!


awesome, good luck ;)




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