When you think of the BlackBerry PlayBook you obviously think about how RIM has allowed for Android apps to be used on the tablet. Now we never thought that we would see iOS apps running on anything other than an Apple mobile device, but apparently someone forgot to mention this fact to one developer. There have been quite a bit of forum activity over at Crackberry thanks to businesscat2000, who posted on Saturday that there was an iOS emulator running on the PlayBook. Now of course there was a lot of push back, understandably, and most people did not believe this was true.
Kevin over at Crackberry asked businesscat2000 to provide more evidence of his claim and lo and behold he has provided exactly that. He has posted several videos that show several iOS apps running on the PlayBook. There was of course a chance that he was using the Android versions of these apps, so Kevin asked him to load up the iMore app that is only available for iOS devices. As you can see in the video below this is in fact a BlackBerry PlayBook running iOS apps through some kind of dark magic. The developer explained what he had to do to get this working,
The CPU isn’t emulated on Playbook (though it is on Windows). 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. No SWIs, GPIO accesses or any of that kind of shenanigans.
So what does this mean for the PlayBook? Who knows, but we are easily able to run iOS apps similarly to Android apps this may make the BlackBerry PlayBook a real player in the tablet market. This also means that iOS apps could run on BlackBerry 10 devices when they launch, and that would definitely make some waves in the mobile ecosystem. Hit up the source link to check out more videos from the developer.