Developer Nick Lee 3D prints case that turns your iPhone into an Android smartphone

Developer and Tendigi CTO Nick Lee displayed a new project that he has been working on, which allows Android to work with an iPhone using a specialized iPhone case. Previously, he had got an Apple Watch to install Windows 95 operating system.

Lee decided to go with this newest hack to end the mobile operating system (Android vs. iOS) battle once and for all and give users a feature neither offers, that is the choice of which operating system to run.

“The main inspiration was the intense feelings Android and iOS users have about each other,” Lee told. “I said to myself— ‘What if you could have it all on one device?’”

As seen in the video below, the entire setup had three components, a custom build of Android, a board that ran Android, and a 3D printed case to hold the board in. Lee also made a custom version of Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 he could run on a board he bought himself by cloning the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).

So, how does it work? It is a bit complicated, as the actual case was a challenge. Lee ultimately ended up purchasing a 3D printer to build the case himself after going through a handful of design iterations. The case that was 3D printed houses the Lemaker HiKey, which is the official reference board of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). It has an 8-core, 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 processor, which means that it has the ability to run pretty much any Android app out there, so what we are looking at is a case that runs Android that when connected to the iPhone, will help imitate the touch events on the Android side. The case also features an opening for an SD card, as well as HDMI and USB ports.

You can read all of the technical details of the project in Lee’s Medium post. Also, check out the actual video of Android running on the iPhone 6 Plus below.

The hack used a custom application from Tendigi on the iPhone. There are more details and instructions available at Nick Lee’s blogpost.