BlackBerry PlayBook Hacked, Runs iOS Apps

An intuitive developer has managed to hack his BlackBerry PlayBook to get full-sized iOS apps running on the tablet. We’re talking well-known App Store titles such as Tiny Tower, Super Monkey Ball, TomTom Navigation, Sushi Cat, iFart, Frogger, Galcon, SketchBook and many others. The developer explains how this is possible just ahead.

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.

Personally, I would rather stick with my iPad. The developer says that he would like to publicly release this hack, but does not know if he will be able to. In other words, the developer could run into legal problems from Apple or Research in Motion if he brings this public. We certainly don’t want another George Hotz vs. Sony Corporation moment.


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