Android might officially come to the Raspberry Pi 3

JC Torres - May 26, 2016, 3:30 am CDT
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Android might officially come to the Raspberry Pi 3

Thanks to its Linux roots, Android can be installed on almost anything that has a processor and enough space for the software. Beyond the usual culprits, you also have TVs, dashboards, and even the tiny box that is the Pebble Core. It seems, then, that Android is a perfect fit for a computer that can also be anything and everything you want it to be. That combination might very well become an official thing, with signs pointing to upcoming official support for the Raspberry Pi 3 inside Android.

Not that the Raspberry Pi, lovingly called RPi for short, can’t already run Android anyway. The RPi can practically run anything you want or need it to, even Windows 10. Well, except Mac OS X or iOS. At least not officially. While there is no legal or technical obstacle to running Android on the wallet-friendly, hacker-friendly single board computer (SBC), having official support for it goes a long way to standardizing the software on the deeper OS level, and making it easier to create spinoffs.

It’s not officialy yet though. Signs of support for the Raspberry Pi 3 was spotted in the source code tree for AOSP, or the Android Open Source Project, repository. AOSP is the purest form of Android that Google, manufacturers, as well as ROM makers build upon. Since it is the common ground for the diverse Android players, it has very little device-specific code inside. The only exceptions are Google’s Nexus devices, some “generic” implementations, and, now, the Raspberry Pi 3. Interestingly, the RPi 3 is the only model found in the directory for the Raspberry Pi foundation. Whether the others older models will also get the same treatment is still up for speculation.

Official Android support for the Raspberry Pi is a bit interesting in the context of the wider hobbyist industry. February last year, Microsoft and the RPi Foundation made a rather surprising announcement, bringing Windows 10, at least its IoT Core version, officially to the usually open source friendly Raspberry Pi, specifically the RPi 2. As expected, some from the open source camps didn’t look favorably on this collaboration. At least now they have something better to look forward too, though Android, especially Google, isn’t exactly a saint in open source circles either.

VIA: Ars Technica


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