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Developer ports iOS emulator to Android, but you shouldn’t get excited about it

Earlier this year, developer Hikari no Yume created a tool called “touchHLE,” which is able to emulate old iOS apps on Macs and Windows PCs. Based on this project, another developer identified as “ciciplusplus” has ported this same iOS emulator project to Android. However, you shouldn’t get too excited about it for now.

Running old iPhone apps on Android

As we explained in a previous article, emulating iOS on other hardware is quite complicated since not only is the system proprietary to Apple, it’s designed to run on specific hardware. However, some developers have successfully emulated older versions of iOS – or iPhone OS.

That’s because these older versions of the operating system have much fewer security features and rely on much less complex hardware, making it easier to run them on other platforms. With touchHLE, users can’t run a full version of iOS, but they can emulate some really old iPhone apps and games like Super Monkey Ball and Crash Bandicoot: Nitro Kart 3D.

We’ve already seen these games being emulated on Macs and PCs. But what about Android phones? It turns out that developer ciciplusplus has ported touchHLE to run on Android so that users can play those old iPhone games on Android devices. And as shown by the developer on Twitter, the iOS emulator project seems to work well – but there’s a catch.

The touchHLE emulator has many limitations of its own when running on a computer, and all of these still apply to Android. For example, the apps only run on chips with the AArch64 architecture. Also, this iOS emulator hasn’t been tested with other apps and games besides Super Monkey Ball. And, of course, you need to have the original installers of the apps you want to run.

Try it yourself

Emulating these iPhone apps on Android is definitely not something that a lot of users will do. Still, it’s interesting to see that someone has managed to run classic iPhone apps on other platforms. But for now, there are no hints that the iOS emulator project will be expanded to run more apps or even a full version of iOS.

Those who want to try running iPhone apps on an Android device can check out the project’s source code on GitHub.

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Avatar for Filipe Espósito Filipe Espósito

Filipe Espósito is a Brazilian tech Journalist who started covering Apple news on iHelp BR with some exclusive scoops — including the reveal of the new Apple Watch Series 5 models in titanium and ceramic. He joined 9to5Mac to share even more tech news around the world.