If you’ve got an iPhone, are a little bored with iOS, and you’re interested in moonlighting with Google’s Android operating system, you can dual boot Android and iOS side-by-side on your iPhone in a few relatively simple steps.
What You’ll Need:
All you’ll need to get started is an iOS device; Right now, the iPhone 3G has the best support, and that’s what we’re using in this guide.
Step One: Jailbreak Your iPhone
You’ve got a number of jailbreaking options, including PwnageTool, Redsn0w, and Blackra1n. Pick one that works on your platform, download it, and walk through the jailbreak process. (I’m not going to detail the jailbreak here since the latest jailbreaking methods often change a little, but at this point, jailbreaking an iPhone is a relatively simple process.)
Step Two: Install Bootlace in Cydia
In order to do this, you’ll need to launch Cydia from the homescreen, tap on the Manage button, select Sources, then tap Edit, then Add. The repository you’ll need to add is repo.neonkoala.co.uk. Tap Add Source, let Cydia work its magic, and then tap on your newly added repository and install Bootlace.
Step Three: Run Bootlace and Patch the Kernel
Leave Cydia, and launch Bootlace. If Bootlace isn’t on your homescreen after you leave Cydia, restart your iPhone and it should be there. Then just launch Bootlace, and let it download and patch the kernel. When it’s done, tap on Reboot and wait for your phone to reboot.
Step Four: Install OpeniBoot
Now launch Bootlace again, tap the OpeniBoot button, and tap Install, then Continue. OpeniBoot will download and install.
Step Five: Install iDroid
Once OpeniBoot is installed, tap the iDroid button, tap Install, OK, and then wait. iDroid, which is essentially the Android OS customized for your iPhone, will download and install. This will take a while, so be patient, and if your battery is low, you may want to plug in your phone you start.
Step Six: Reboot and Play Around with Android
Now you’ve installed Android on your iPhone. Time to play around with it. Just tap on the QuickBoot button from inside Bootlace, tap the Android icon (the one of the little Android proudly holding an Apple), and confirm that you want to reboot into Android.
How Does It Work?
The first thing worth mentioning is that Android on iPhone isn’t close to ready to use as your full-time mobile operating system. That doesn’t mean it never will be, but at the moment, this is more something you’d want to do to fulfill your curiosity, wear as a geek badge, or just have a little fun and (maybe) support a really great project.
You can see how far they’ve come along with each phone on the iDroid status wiki. As I mentioned above, the iPhone 3G is the best supported iOS device (and currently only it and the 2G work with the method above, I believe). The biggest issue right now with the 3G is power management (PMU on the wiki), which isn’t fully functional. Most importantly, suspend isn’t yet working, so your battery won’t likely last long. It’s still come a long way from where it’s been in the past, though, and having followed this project excitedly for a while, the progress they’ve made in recent weeks has been really impressive.
Regarding a few nuts and bolts: Your iPhone’s lock button acts as the Android back button; the iPhone home button acts as the Android menu button; the iPhone’s volume down button acts as the Android home button; and the iPhone’s volume up button acts as… I’m not really sure what. To lock the screen, press the iPhone’s home and and lock buttons at the same time. To power off, hold the lock and home buttons for a couple of seconds until the Power Off prompt appears. You can see a few other operating quirks by watching the video above.
As you can see in the video, performance isn’t perfect (it’s occasionally a little laggy), but again, with time, that could change significantly. Either way, the iDroid project, along with OpeniBoot and Bootlace, is something I remain extremely excited about. As a long-time iPhone user and recent Android switcher, the main thing that sets the two apart for me is the iPhone hardware, which always feels a head and shoulders above whatever Android device I put my hands on. I know a lot of people (including myself) who’d kill to dual boot and iPhone 4 with iOS and Android. (In fact, if you really want to help out, you can donate to the iDroid Project by clicking the Donate button on the top right of the iDroid Project’s main page and maybe speed things along.)
If you’ve been playing around with Android on your iPhone, let’s hear about it in the comments.Adam Pash is the editor-in-chief of Lifehacker and can’t resist a good hardware hack. You can follow his stuff every day at Lifehacker or follow @adampash on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.
Send an email to Adam Pash, the author of this post, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Follow us to see the most popular stories among your friends — or sign up for our daily newsletter below.
Your version of Internet Explorer is not supported. Please upgrade to the most recent version in order to view comments.
I really wish the project gets developed more and hopefully in the future we all can dual boot.
I think if we see this happening on Windows and Android, Apple should be pressured to offer it as well.
Sure they may not like it, but if you can do it on your Mac why not on your phone too.
hmm. i seem to be missing some new tool or something. I have a 3g running 4.1. How are yall jailbreaking it?
my 3g keeps rebooting after android starts up. very cool project though.
Maybe I missed something, but can I use this on my iPod Touch 2G?
Can I root this android OS now so I can install whatever “jailbreak” Android stuff they have ?
@Tony Kaye: Does it cause double posting? (I kid, I kid! Which model phone have you been using it on?)
If it supports the iPhone 3G does that mean I can use it on my iPod Touch 2G?
Its important to know that Bootlace says it works on 4.1, but I have jailbroken my iPhone 3G (on 4.1) with redsn0w, and Bootlace doesn’t work. Cydia and everything else does though.
@Adam Pash is there any work to dual boot for the iPad? Or would that be along the same lines as the iPhone 4?
can u use the jailbreak me site?
There’s also iPhodroid, an auto-installer. I enjoyed that very much. One of the beta’s had the Marketplace left in. That was nice.
Adam, you might want to mention that the Market isn’t available upon install since Google forbids it. Same goes for their apps.
The hackintosh of the the phone world.
Once it is perfected, I can’t wait to hear the reasons why the iPhone still sucks (besides the carrier).
And I would do this why?
I mean, if I wanted an Android, I would have bought one. It’s not the same thing as being forced to use bootcamp/pc emulator on the make because you have to use some windows software to get your job done.
I don’t really see a use case where I would need to use an Android app on my iPhone.
This was originally Comex’s work right? The one who brought us spiritjb after the work on this android crossing? If memory serves right, he got it working on the 3gs too but with less support than the 3g.
Bootlace does not support this device… iPhone 4 with 4.1 installed… Any Ideas? Jailbroke with limerain…
You need wireless, market access, google sync working along with Android 2.2 (what version is this?) and finally a functional battery suspend state API.
BUT, if you can leave it plugged in and play some apps I guess it would be cool for kicks. Just not very useful.
Heads-up! Bootlace v2.1 doesn’t currently recognise iPhone 3G iOS 4.1 jailbroken with version 0.9.6b2 of redsn0w. There’s a bug report logged for it, so will probably be fixed in the near future. For now, try jailbreaking with Blackra1n or PwnageTool instead.
Got a white screen of death after a day after having installed it. Be cautious, back up the phone before installing ! (luckily, that’s what I did)
Can this be done on a 3GS or 4? I’m curious because it says that the 3G has the most support.
Does this install dual iOS, or does it get rid of iOS? I want to do this, but my only worry is accidentally deleting iOS and all my features.
If you are using Firefox and NoScript addon, please mark lifehacker.com as trusted.