iOS on computers is a thing now!

People have been trying to run iOS on computers for years. But luck was not on the developer’s side in this respect. Well, finally a developer has cracked the code! He successfully emulated the first version of the iPhone OS on a computer!

However, running Apple’s operating system on another system is not new. For example, it’s pretty easy to run macOS on non-Apple computers thanks to Hackintosh tools. However, cracking the code for iOS has been a challenge for the developers. So this success in emulating the first iOS is a big step indeed!

iPhone OS 1.0 emulates with QEMU

Martin de Vos, known as devos50, is the developer behind emulating iOS on computers. He used a lot Reverse engineered to emulate the first version of the iPhone operating system.

In case you don’t already know, the iPhone OS is the operating system released for the first generation iPod touch. It debuted in 2007 and later the operating system found its way to the first iPhone.

devos50 worked on the project for more than a year. He had to figure out many complicated things. For example multi-touch support and ensuring that the hardware components communicate correctly.

iOS on computers 1

Why the iPod version of iOS?

In a blog post, de Vos explained that emulating the hardware components was the hardest part. For this reason, the developer chose the first version of the iPhone operating system, which was released for the iPod. In comparison, The iPhone version requires operating system emulation with more components. But why the first version of iOS?

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According to de Vos, The first version of iOS has fewer security mechanisms. The developer explained:

Modern Apple devices contain many additional hardware components, such as B. neural engines, secure enclaves and a variety of sensors that make emulating such devices much more difficult and time-consuming.

However, the project became a reality thanks to OpeniBoot. It is an open source implementation of the Apple bootloader. This project was discontinued a long time ago. However, it enabled users to do many interesting things with iOS. For illustration, it allowed Android to be installed on the first generations of iPod touch and iPhone.

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Does the emulated iOS work on computers?

The emulated iOS is not perfect. It has some bugs that may not give you a good overall experience with the operating system. But despite a few bugs, The final project is functional.

Actually, You can now successfully emulate iPhone OS 1.0 with QEMU. QEMU is an open source virtualization platform. This allows you to virtually run another operating system on your system.

Nonetheless, The emulated iOS is fully navigable. You can use a keyboard and mouse to navigate different parts of the operating system. And the great thing about it is Most of the preinstalled apps work like a charm.

Problems with iOS on computers

but Be prepared to face some system crashes. There are still some situations that can bring you out of emulation. Regardless, being able to use any version of iOS on computers is still impressive.

What’s next for iOS on computers?

de Vos notes that This project is probably the first successful attempt to emulate the iPhone operating system through open source tools. But it’s not the first emulation. For example, Corellium sells virtual iOS devices that run iOS through emulation.

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But the thing is that all the code and tools are private. And you cannot use these resources to create your virtual machine. On the other hand, de Vos has made all the details public in a blog post. Those interested in trying it out can get real help.

And for de Vos’ next project, he wants to emulate the second generation iPod touch that was released with iOS version 2.1.