iROM: iOS on Your Android

The talented hackers at XDA have done it again. iROM is a port of iOS that can run on Android firmware, using an “iOS virtual machine emulator”.

It’s missing a few features, but this is still great news. At last, we can have what we’ve wanted all along: an iPhone that’s not made by Apple.

What It’s Got

iROM is missing a couple of things, like the App Store and Siri, but check out what’s included:

Notification Center

If you get a text or an email while you’re inside an app, then rather than having a big popup appear right in front of your face, a little summary of the message appears in a bar at the top of your screen. If you swipe down from this bar, you’ll get a list of all the “notifications” you’ve received, and you can tap any of them to open the app – and go straight to the message!

Tweet From Any App

Okay, how many times has this happened: you’re browsing the web and you want to share the current page with your Twitter friends. (Maybe you want to let them know about this review!)

Well, rather than having to switch to a separate Twitter app, you can just tap a button within the browser, press the Tweet option, add a message, and then hit Send to post it directly to your feed.

Easy Camera Access

The “lock screen” doesn’t just have iOS’s patented slide-to-unlock feature, it’s also got a shortcut to go straight to the camera app (just swipe up).

And once in the camera app, you don’t have to hit a certain button on the screen to take a picture. In fact, you don’t even have to hit the screen at all! You can snap a photo by using the Volume Up button, which feels just like a real camera.

(I used to use Cyanogenmod, and it did have the ability to shoot a picture using any hardware button, but it was set to the Search button by default and this just wasn’t useful for me. iROM has it assigned to the volume control right from the get-go, which makes it much easier to use.)

Customisation

iROM lets you change your background wallpaper, lock screen wallpaper, and ring tone – ’nuff said!

One Size Fits All

One of the great strengths of iOS over Android is in how the OS is perfectly fitted to the form factor; with only a small number of different devices to support (and a tiny number of resolutions and screen sizes to worry about), the designers and developers could focus entirely on creating a perfect, consistent UI.

In order to emulate that on Android, no scaling options have been added in to iROM. The entire OS is displayed in a “screen within a screen”; everything is rendered within a rectangle that’s the physical size of an iPhone’s screen. (Of course, the pixel density will be somewhat lower.)

What’s even cooler about this is that you can choose any border image you desire! I love this, because it reminds me of the Super Game Boy. On my Galaxy Note, which has a screen area more than double that of the iPhone, I’m using a live-size photograph of the iPhone as the border for iROM, to give it an authentic feel.

The Verdict

Judging by a few recent comments, a small number of readers have noticed that we here at Android.AppStorm are big iOS fans, unfortunately shackled to our Android devices.

It’s totally true, and that’s why I’m so happy to see this ROM; it’s everything I ever wanted in a phone.

Just kidding, of course. April Fool!