Tinker-friendly developer gadget Raspberry Pi has received a jolt of Android, with a functional – though incomplete – port of Ice Cream Sandwich for the super-cheap computer. A work in progress for some time, according to the Raspberry Pi team, but kept quiet because the build isn’t quite what you’d find publicly available, the Android 4.0 port could well turn the $35 PC into your perfect TV companion.
Right now, the team has hardware-accelerated graphics and video up and running with the Raspberry Pi’s VideoCore IV GPU. Currently, AudioFlinger support is the only main thing absent, though that’s still being worked on.
The end result will be a tiny computer that can put all your favorite Android apps and streaming content onto a TV, via HDMI connection and with full internet access. We’ve already seen that the board can squash the iPhone 4S and Tegra 2 in graphics crunching, as well as being capable of 1080p HD video.
There’s no public release of the Android port so far, though since shipping of the Raspberry Pi itself is backlogged between 12 and 17 weeks depending on which country you’re ordering from, you’re in for a wait anyway. Meanwhile, alternatives like the Gooseberry continue to sneak out of the woodwork, with Android baked in from the outset.