Say you love your iPhone or iPod touch, but you’ve always kind of wondered what it would be like to use Android instead. You could go all out and actually install Android on a jailbroken iPhone. Or you could take the easier route and simply install iAndroid, a free Android simulator available from the Cydia store.
While iAndroid won’t give you the full Android experience, it does offer a rough approximation of the Android experience. When you load iAndroid you’ll see a nice big HTC Sense-style widget with the time (although there’s no weather data). There are also icons for Settings, Phone, Twitter, Facebook, Camera, and Browser.
The phone and camera functions actually work, allowing you to make calls or take photos — although you won’t necessarily get all the bells and whistles you would with the default iOS apps. The web browser works reasonably well, but there aren’t any advanced features such as support for browser tabs or Adobe Flash (obviously).
The Twitter and Facebook apps are actually just links to the mobile web sites, but they work pretty well. Because there are no hardware buttons, an on-screen “home” button appears in most apps, allowing you to go back to the virtual home screen. There are no buttons for search or menu though.
You can also swipe between virtual home screens to view additional apps and a few widgets. Or you can tap the grid button in the center to see a full list of apps including a calculator, a simple paint app, and a music player which is a we-based app that streams songs from Myousic.me and which works pretty well. It doesn’t look anything like the default Android music player, but it’s nice to have a working music player in the iAndroid simulator.
You can launch iAndroid like any other iOS app and you don’t have to reboot your device. If your device supports multitasking, you can also switch between iAndroid and any other running apps quickly and easily — although it doesn’t support background audio streaming.
Honestly, the whole thing is much more of a neat trick or gimmick than a useful tool. But it’s still kind of cool to be able to trick out your iPhone to look like Android… even if the illusion disappears when you exit the app.