New Dalvik and Gingerbread Port

Android Apps on the iOS?

Jessica Thornsby
Android-Apps-on-the-iOS

“We are focusing on Dalvik and hoping some contributors join to accelerate this porting.”


In-the-Box
is a new open source project sponsored by FlexyCore,
that aims to port Dalvik VM and Gingerbread Android APIs on top of
iOS. Such a port would enable Android app developers to execute
their applications on iOS. In this interview, JAXenter speaks to
FlexyCore’s Benoît Lamarche, on this new project.

JAXenter: Can you give us an introduction to
the In-the-Box project?

Benoit Lamarche: The “in the box” objective is
a porting of Dalvik VM and Gingerbread Android APIs on top of iOS.
It enables Android application developers to execute their Android
application on iOS.

JAXenter: What is the relationship between
iSpectrum and In-the-Box?

Benoit: Since September 2009, FlexyCore was
commercializing a product named iSpectrum, a Java SDK for the
iPhone. In March 2010 Apple restricted the use of non Apple
development tools to create iOS apps, which meant some business
troubles for iSpectrum. Thus, FlexyCore decided to focus on Android
by setting up its Android accelerator product and doing the minimum
work on iSpectrum – by keeping iSpectrum customer’s support
contracts activity and maintaining iSpectrum compatible across new
iOS SDK versions.

Even when in September 2010 Apple changed its iOS developer
license and relaxed all restrictions on development tools to build
iOS apps, FlexyCore kept its focus on its Android accelerator,
maintaining iSpectrum evolutions at the minimum.

As FlexyCore improved their knowledge on Android, they
established a new technology path to move iSpectrum to the next
level with the challenge to “run an Android application on iOS
devices”, and they decided to hold iSpectrum commercialization and
setup this “in the box” open source project to make it happen

JAXenter: What technologies are at work in this
project?

Benoit: Dalvik and the Gingerbread core APIs
are written in C and C++, which we compile using Xcode. We’ve added
a few iOS-specific things in Objective-C.

JAXenter: Moving forward, what are your plans
for In-the-Box?

Benoit: We will try OpenGLES as soon as
possible, but before this, we have to progress on the Dalvik VM
port on iOS. After that, we have to port a part of UIKit in Java –
this could be fast – and then, we could provide 3D APIs – could be
even faster, because these are already done inside FlexyCore! But
for now, we are focusing on Dalvik and hoping some contributors
join to accelerate this porting.

FlexyCore is a French company founded in 2008 by Java
experts from Texas Instruments and INRIA (French Research Center).
With iSpectrum, they provide a full Java 1.5 compliant solution
that allows you to develop in Java and debug NATIVE iPhone/iPod
Touch/iPad application using Eclipse IDE. Then you ll find the next
step in the answer to your question What is the relationship
between iSpectrum and In-the-Box?

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