Hackers get iOS apps to run full-screen on Apple TV

In a move that could bode well for customized apps built for Apple TV, iOS developers hack second-gen Apple TV and get it to run apps at 720p.

YouTube is among the iOS apps Dublin-based hacker Steven Troughton-Smith got working this weekend in full screen on a jailbroken Apple TV. Steve Troughton-Smith

While you were buying the New Years bubbly and party horns, hackers were busy this weekend figuring out how to run iOS apps natively on Apple TV--and in full screen.

Dublin-based hacker and iOS developer Steven Troughton-Smith-- known for getting Siri to work on an iPhone 4 and iPod Touch and even somewhat on an iPhone 3GS --says over the past couple days he and a fellow hacker have managed to get a jailbroken second-generation Apple TV to run iOS apps in full screen at 720p.

The hack, first reported by 9to5Mac, isn't publically available and is considered more of a proof of concept at this time. He says it was done using a custom springboard written by Nick@TheMudKip on a jailbroken Apple TV.

"Nick had written this amazing window manager for the iPad that replaced the entire homescreen, allowing you to run multiple apps side by side, and I realized this could enable iOS apps on the AppleTV for the first time," Troughten-Smith told CNET, adding that he hasn't heard a thing from Apple. "We've spent the past 2 days modifying everything to work really well on the AppleTV screen size, etc, and getting apps to run."

The video at the end of this post tells all. But it's all very preliminary. And there are bugs too--consider this shot Troughton-Smith posted of Angry Birds running sideways:

Steve Troughton-Smith

But it could be the start of custom apps built for Apple TV, as Troughton-Smith alludes in a tweet: "Remember how the unofficial iPhone apps back in '07 forced Apple's hand in creating an App Store? I'd like AppleTV to get the same treatment."

About the author

Michelle Meyers, associate editor, has been writing and editing CNET News stories since 2005. But she's still working to shed some of her old newspaper ways, first honed when copy was actually cut and pasted. When she's not fixing typos and tightening sentences, she's working with reporters on story ideas, tracking media happenings, or freshening up CNET News' home page.

 

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