CrossCompiling Android Applications to the iPhone - December 3, 2009 Darmstadt

Cross-Compiling von Android-Anwendungen auf das iPhone

The TechTalk was held in Darmstadt on December 3, 2009. Fortunately we were lucky enough to get Arno Puder, Professor at San Francisco State University, on board for a technology talk.

The development of applications on several platforms will play an important role in the future as the use of smart phones such as the iPhone or T-Mobile's G1 and G2 increases. Needless to say this requires massive input for the implementation and maintenance of smart phone applications.

The XMLVM open source project initiated by Arno Puder enables android applications to be cross-compiled on iPhones. Appears very difficult at first glance: individual android applications can, however, already be transferred to iPhones. Mr. Puder will also provide demos in addition to providing insights into the basic concept and the available implementation.

The TechTalk will be held in German.

Abstract: Smart phones such as Google's Android and Apple's iPhone have become popular devices for mobile applications. In particular, both devices allow the development of native applications that can take advantage of special purpose hardware such as accelerometer or GPS. While similar in capabilities, smart phones differ greatly in the way native applications have to be written for them. Google's Android is based on Java with an Android-specific set of widgets, while Apple's iPhone only supports Objective-C as the programming language of choice. In fact, Apple explicitly prohibits Java virtual machines on the iPhone per license agreement. Objective-C and Java are two radically different programming languages. While Java features strong typing and garbage collection, Objective-C supports dynamic typing but no garbage collection. In this presentation I will describe a technique how Java-based Android applications can be cross-compiled to native iPhone applications. We will demonstrate how Java can be cross-compiled to Objective-C and how the Android API can be mapped to the iPhone-specific Cocoa API. One specific outcome of our work is that native iPhone applications can also be developed in Java. Several demos will be given throughout the presentation.

The source code is available under an Open Source license at

About the speaker

Arno Puder is an Associate Professor at the San Francisco State University. Prior to his current position, he worked for AT&T Labs Research and Deutsche Telekom AG. His interests include middleware, ubiquitous computing, and applications for sensor networks. He is one of the founders of the Open Source CORBA implementation called MICO.

Info for getting there and parking in Darmstadt

You can use the visitor parking spaces at Products & Innovation. In T-Online-Allee 1 the entrance to the underground car park is at the end of the street (facing south – stay right at entrance), where you can report as a visitor for the TechTalk and use the signposted visitor parking spaces (follow the magenta arrows in the underground car park; then take the elevator to the first floor).
You will be shown the way into the forum at visitor reception.

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