Whatever happened to Android for Raspberry Pi?


One of the earliest operating system projects discussed in the same breath as the Raspberry Pi was Google’s Android. Back on July 31 last year, the Raspberry Pi Foundation posted on its blog that ‘Android 4.0 is coming!‘, but unfortunately, apart from some early screenshots of an ‘alpha’ build, no official Android OS for the compact $25 computer has since been released. Commenters to the blog post as late as the beginning of August 2013 are still hoping to see it.

The R-Pi Foundation even declared in the original post that ‘hardware-accelerated graphics and video have been up and running smoothly for some time’. However, the last (semi-)official response in the post comments was that it was still being worked on.

In the meantime, Razdroid was an attempt to get Android 2.3 running on the R-Pi but it looks to have been abandoned due to the OS being ‘barely usable’ on the current R-Pi hardware due to slow (non-accelerated) performance. The Razdroid project now points to the Android Pi Wiki page.

According to the Android Pi Wiki page, Broadcom, the manufacturer of the R-Pi’s BCM2835 CPU, is behind the Android 4.0.3 build that is apparently running sweetly and even includes hardware video acceleration. The Wiki page also points back to the July 2012 R-Pi Foundation blog post as the build in question. However, Broadcom has yet to release it and until it does so, it appears we’re no closer to seeing Android running on the Raspberry Pi.

The latest attempt on Android for Raspberry Pi was a new thread over at xda-developer.com started on June 15 this year called IncrediPi that aimed to gather information together for a possible port. However, at this stage, progress appears to be slow.

So the bottom line, there is no *available* working Android release for the Raspberry Pi and the only likely release will be the Broadcom version – if it appears.

As a sidenote, it’s been discussed that the Raspberry Pi shares similar hardware to the Samsung Galaxy Y smartphone, which features an 830MHz ‘ARMv6′ class processor but adds in Broadcom’s VideoCore IV video processor. The phone runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).

In the meantime, check out what we’re all waiting for at the jump.

UPDATE: If we’ve missed something and you know more or are working on an Android release of the Raspberry Pi, let us know in the comments below.¬†

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