As it has with the macOS kernel in the past, Apple has released the source code of a variant of iOS optimised to run on ARM processors.
Both macOS and iOS share a Unix-based XNU core called Darwin so it makes sense that the company would release the source code for the iOS kernel. However, the code would not run on any smartphone or tablet platform because it was not optimised for ARM chips.
By publishing the ARM-optimised source code, Apple has given developers and security experts alike a chance to have a peak at how the iOS functions on a low level. Although there is little that can actually be done with the source code since it only includes the kernel. To use apps or any of the other functions of iOS, a user interface or developer framework would be necessary.
Apple could be gearing up to integrate its own code designed to run on ARM chips into macOS and it could develop a line of MacBooks powered by ARM chips in the future.
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