Birth of the iDroid – How to dualboot your iPhone with iOS and Android

For the past year and a half, I have been using an iPhone unlocked and jailbroken on T-Mobile.  It started when my old Motorola W490 flip phone started acting up and I decided to go for it and bought a brand new iPhone 2G off of eBay.  It was a good deal and I used it for a while but eventually sold it and upgraded to an iPhone 3G.  Unfortunately, the 3G data hardware in the iPhone is not compatible with T-Mobile’s 3G network, so I was confined to the bubble of T-Mobile’s edge network.  Although, the benefit to this was that since the iPhone was limited on their network, they let it go as a regular phone instead of a smartphone since it was limited to edge only.  I have only been paying $5 a month for unlimited data since I got it.  Not too shabby.

My problem now is that I am bored with it and I am tired of the limitations.  I have seriously considered going to AT&T but I got freaked out along with everyone else when data was recently capped at 2GB per month for $25.  I have gone over 2GB per month with only edge access; I think I would probably sail through that 2GB of bandwidth even faster if I had faster data.

I have been thinking about going Android on T-Mobile because I can still get the unlimited data that I really want and kind of need while still having a pretty nifty HTC smartphone.  Anyway, I was googling around and happened to find a way for you to dual boot your iPhone running firmware 3.1.2 jailbroken with the Android 2.2.1 ROM.  What the heck?  Why not try it?

So I investigated it a little further and found out that you can do this hack completely through Cydia using an app called bootlace.  This app basically creates “bootcamp” on your iPhone (similarly to running multiple OS’s on you Mac) where you can select your iOS, terminal, or Android when you power up your phone.  This is great because you can leave your current phone and everything on it in tact while you give Android a whirl.

Basically, you open up Cydia and look for the “Bootlace” app which is hosted by “Bigboss”.  Install the package and run the program.  It then checks to make sure you iPhone is compatible and makes sure your baseband and firmware will support the dual boot.  If it checks out, you just tap the “Openiboot” option and then tap the green “install” button.  It prompts you to continue at your own risk, which is your choice.  If you so choose to continue, you risk bricking your phone and having to do a full restore on it or restore from a back up.  It’s up to you, but I did it and it worked.  Just follow the steps and let the installer go.  Then, reboot your phone.  When you turn your phone back on, it will prompt you to choose your operating system.  Navigate with the volume rocker on the side and press the home key to select either, iOS, terminal, or Android.

I played with Android 2.2.1 on my iPhone for a little while and even made a call with it.  It seems to work fine for basic phone functions but is quite slow.  Maybe it would be faster if you had only Android on there instead of iOS as well.  The GUI was the same as any Android phone I have ever used and I was able to look through the options and settings.  I have to admit, I was pretty impressed that an OS like Android, that was not developed for the iPhone could run pretty decently on there and not really cause any issues with the existing iOS install.  You can tell that this is obviously a beta thing that is still being developed by open source developers all over.  That is simply the beauty of Android; the fact that it can be developed by all kinds of people wherever and then shared.

For the time being, I am running the normal iOS 3.1.2 for the time being.  I will probably be playing with this a little more in the next few days.  Overall, I do like the Android OS and would probably like having an Android phone.  I love the iPhone and have absolutely nothing against Apple or the iOS.  I just like to get my hands on new things and try things out.  That is one of the biggest reasons I am probably going to go Android.  The other issue is pricing and rates for the iPhone whether it is with AT&T or Verizon.  We will see what phone and provider I end up with after I take the plunge and move to DC.  Ultimately, service is the biggest deal so if I don’t have service where I live, work, and play, I’ll drop that carrier like a hot potato.  We shall see how things pan out.

If you are interested in learning more about Android on the iPhone or making an iDroid, check out the iDroid Project Wiki at the link below.

http://www.idroidproject.org/wiki/Main_Page

Also, feel free to check out my website at www.jasoncastellente.com

The iPhone vs. Android is a continual debate and I am sure after reading this, you’ll have something to say!  Feel free to comment or email me at jason@jasoncastellente.com

Android booting on my iPhone 3G

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