Apple makes it easy to upgrade an iPhone or iPad to a new version of iOS and often boasts about the high-percentages of users running the latest version of the operating system.

A few things the company doesn’t make easy? Downgrading to an earlier version of iOS, installing an alternate operating system, or dual-booting. Or multi-booting, actually, since it’s possible to load more than two operating systems.


But folks have been finding unofficial ways to do those things for years. In March we learned about a project to bring Android to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7+. Now a team of developers have released a guide for dual-booting multiple operating systems on iPhones and iPads with 64-bit processors.
So far the guide is designed to let you run multiple versions of iOS. But theoretically it could open the door to dual-booting Linux and/or Android on an iPhone or iPad.

While this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a method for dual-booting an iOS device, previous methods had been limited to Apple products with 32-bit processors (which meant the most recent supported devices included the iPhone 5 and 4th-gen iPad).

The new method should work with devices released in 2013 and later, starting with the iPhone 5s.

Another thing to keep in mind is that this method using the checkm8 exploit, which requires a tethered boot — you can only boot into the secondary operating system by connecting your iPhone or iPad to a computer and running the again. And if you need to reboot, you’ll need to go through the process again.

Developers @Ralph0045 and @mcg29_ have posted images of several Apple devices running multiple operating systems in recent weeks, including and iPhone 6, an iPhone 8 and an iPad mini 2 (running four operating systems).

via TuxPhones and @Ralph0045

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4 replies on “Hackers bring multi-boot support to newer iPhones and iPads”

  1. Imagine an OS so useless that you need to not only jailbreak the OS to get basic functionality, but you need to jailbreak several different versions of the OS and multi-boot them to get everything you need.

    1. When people complain about Windows Mobile, I kindly point them to statements such as yours. Apple has hardware par excellence but their software is a major boat anchor to it. If I could install Android or iOS on an iPhone or iPad, I feel they would become the default choice of all users.

    2. I disagree with ye all.
      I’ve been an avid supporter of open-systems and software, but the older I get the more fragmented and frustrating things evolve. I think there is some golden ratio between a totalitarian and anarchy, a sort of balance if you will. Just like more/too many options isn’t a good thing, and very few options isn’t a good thing…. best is to have enough options.

      And I don’t agree with many things Apple, but I give credit where credit is due. They revolutionized the design of the phone. The hardware of the phone. And the software of the phone. That’s impressive.

      My personal view is that iOS v7 (2013), Windows Mobile v10 (2016), and Android v4.0.3 (2011), are all roughly at software parity. Ecosystem wise, however, they’re much different.

      Yet, Android has progressed a long way since then, and so has iOS. Windows Mobile was cancelled shortly after. And to put things into proper context always remember the failed competitors such as: Symbian, KaiOS, BBX, SailOS, Nemo, Mer, MeeGo, Tizen, UbuntuPhone, webOS, etc etc.

      People praise Android, and do so at the expense of iOS. Yet they forget how bad things were with Android 3.2 and earlier, even worse that things were going to be even more primitive as Android was initially meant to be a copy of the old BlackBerry OS back in 2008.

      Not to mention, many people fail to realize most Android applications are running at a high-level, which is great for portability and running on many variants of software-hardware. Whereas iOS applications run semi-native at a low-level and thus have less latency, less overhead, use less power in general. So an iPhone with only two cores, few RAM, and much smaller battery, can seemingly surpass an Android device with eight cores, heaps of RAM, and a sizeable battery.

      So I don’t share your sentiments.

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