The days of app exclusivity might soon be over as Cider proves to break the barrier associated with platform inequality
The disparity between Apple’s iOS and Android is one that once had a wide margin, but in the last few years, Android has acquired some bragging rights in relation to application development, quantity and quality.
Android has become very popular, commanding a large chunk of global smartphone market share. A good number of industry pundits believe that Android has caught up with iOS or may have over-taken the iPhone Operating System altogether. Unlike iOS, Android provide more freedom to third party developers and this could explain part of the reasons why Android has become a mobile OS of choice.
However, all of these may not be enough for fans of the platform. There are still a legion of Apps exclusively available to the iOS, which gives it a competitive advantage. Having apps operate cross-platform appears impossible, but researchers at the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University believe Cider, an OS compatibility architecture can completely eliminate such a barrier.
Cider is an incredible project which can allow iOS apps run effectively on Android devices. The entire process involves using a compile-time code adaptation, as well as diplomatic functions. The compile-time code will allow existing app source code run on Android without modification while the diplomatic functions allows foreign apps hook into host device libraries.
While this looks like a really cool achievement, there exist technical problems to contend with. There also exist legal hurdles which can potentially make mockery of whatever Cider has to offer. No one would like to enter into legal tussle with any company, especially when the company is Apple, the world’s most valuable brand. Judging by the hurdles to overcome, it is likely project Cider would never become a reality for the main stream. Howbeit the case, it goes to show the incredible power that lies underneath Android.
What do you feel about this project?
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