Guy puts 1990s MacOS 7 on an Apple Watch – without jailbreaking it
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An Apple Watch tinkerer has managed to get his wristslab running an operating system that hasn't been updated in nearly two decades.
New Yorker Nick Lee said he used an emulator to get his Apple watch running a disk image of the MacOS 7.5.5 operating system.
Why run watchOS 2 when you can run Mac OS 7.5.5? https://t.co/2umRfOMmTX— Nick Lee (@nickplee) June 22, 2015
Lee, who when not sending Watches back in time works as a software architect for Tendigi, said the install process mostly consisted on porting the open source Mini vMac emulator to the Apple WatchOS platform.
"To get this proof-of-concept running, it took me about 4 hours," he told El Reg "Most of that time was spent getting Mini vMac to compile on the watch’s architecture."
From there, Mini vMac could be equipped with a boot image and the Watch was able to load up the emulator and boot MacOS 7.5.5, a build of the old MacOS introduced in 1996 for the PowerMac/Performa lines that you may remember disabling the enemy mothership in Independence Day.
Lee said that as of right now there is no way to actually interact with the MacOS desktop, but it might be possible to use voice commands to perform some actions, in theory.
Perhaps most impressively, the entire process was carried out without the need to jailbreak the Watch. Lee said everything he needed to develop the port was included in the WatchOS developer kit. ®