The long-running feud between Apple and Android users is about to take a strange new twist.
A new case designed by a developer at Tendigi can put the latest version of Android’s Marshmallow on your iPhone, allowing the device to run the two operating systems at once.
The 3D-printed iPhone 6S Plus case is thicker than a standard model, due to the extra components inside, but the creator says it’s not much more obtrusive than a battery case.
A blog post by Tendigi partner and CTO, Nick Lee, details the process for creating the iPhone-Android mashup.
In a video demonstrating the project, an iPhone can be seen outfitted with the red case, connected at the lightning-cable port.
The device first opens in the typical iOS platform, but the user switches to Android by clicking on an app.
According to Lee, the move was made possible by Android’s open-source operating system.
The Android Open Source Project is maintained by a Google-led group called the Open Handset Alliance.
‘The AOSP is the foundation of all device-specific flavours of Android shipped on phones from manufacturers like Motorola, HTC, LG. etc.,’ Lee explained in the blog post.
‘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.’
For the first proof-of-concept, Lee used an LG Nexus 5 as a target, and ported/built a slew of Android components.
This included an open-source suite to enable communication with iOS devices, a program to allow the USB cable to work as a ‘high-speed network connection,’ and another to put the screen contents on the iPhone, and emulate touch events on the Android side.
Once this proved successful, Lee wrote a ‘simple iOS application that handles the incoming connection from Android’ and began working on the case.
The hardware had to meet a set of requirements on horsepower, compatibility, size, and connectivity, so Lee selected the Lemaker HiKey, which is the ‘official reference board’ of the AOSP.
Lee also purchased a battery pack and a boost converter to increase voltage.
The case itself then had to be 3D printed; Lee purchased a XYZprinting da Vinci 2.0 Duo 3D printer for the project.
After making the first model, which was very thick, Lee slimmed down the design to fit all of the components inside, writing that ‘I was eventually able to shed the mid-nineties-putty-white-brick feel by printing a (much) thinner case.’
The final product is a red case with an extended back that is ‘not too much thicker than the average battery case,’ and openings for an SD card, HDMI, and USB ports.