Research in Motion is famously slow at rolling out new products — both hardware and software — and with the BlackBerry PlayBook especially, users have become frustrated with how long it takes to receive new features. One user has now taken PlayBook functionality into his own hands, and has begun improving his tablet by porting over iOS applications.
Businesscat2000 revealed on the CrackBerry forums that he has found a way to do something no one else — at least that I know of — has ever down: Run iOS applications on a device that wasn’t made by Apple. He has posted multiple videos of his PlayBook running titles like Super Monkey Ball, Tiny Tower, Sushi Cat, and more.
Naturally, some people doubted Businesscat2000’s claims, and immediately dismissed his videos as fake. However, he proved the critics wrong when CrackBerry‘s Kevin Michaluk sent him an iPhone-only application, and within just one hour, he had it running on his PlayBook.
There are some limitations to his hack, such as the resolution is currently restricted to just 480 x 320. But it’s still in its early days.
Businesscat2000 explains how it works:
It works very similarly to how WINE works to run Windows applications on Linux. The app binary is mapped into memory and imports are resolved to point to my own implementation of the various APIs needed. iOS actually uses a few open APIs already, which Playbook supports just as well (GL ES, and OpenAL). The bulk of the work has been in implementing all of the objective C classes that are required. The ARM code of the applications run as-is – the armv6/v7 support on PB/iDevices are pretty much identical, and the code is designed to run in USR mode.
As one CrackBerry forums member noted, Businesscat2000’s achievements are pretty incredible when you consider that RIM itself — with its massive bankroll — cannot get Android applications as complex as these running on PlayBook.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Businesscat2000 is planning to release his hack to the public. But here’s to hoping he’ll change his mind.
Would you like to run iOS apps on your PlayBook?
[via The Verge]