Smartphones

Raspberry Pi and Ice Cream: Android ported to $40 computer

A working version of Android Ice Cream Sandwich has been ported to the $40 Raspberry Pi credit card-sized computer.

The Android OS is coming to credit card-sized Linux computer the Raspberry Pi.

A working version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has been ported to the $40 device, according to the Raspberry Pi Foundation chairman Eben Upton.

The build includes hardware-accelerated video and computer graphics but not sound, because support for the operating system's AudioFlinger layer is not yet included.

This port appears to be the closest one yet to a usable Android OS for Raspberry Pi, but other builds of the mobile operating system are being worked on, including CyanogenMod 7.2, based on Android Gingerbread, and CyanogenMod 9, also based on Ice Cream Sandwich.

The developer behind the port, Naren Sankar, shows the OS working on the Pi in a video, demonstrating browsing the app menu and HD YouTube playback. While there is some jerkiness in the YouTube video menu, video playback and the home-screen navigation is smooth.

Upton says in his blog post that a version of the source code for the build should be made available soon.

Distributors of the Pi recently lifted the ban on bulk orders of the device, which packs a 700MHz processor, a GPU and 256MB of RAM.

Although designed as a low-cost computer to get kids interested in coding, enthusiasts have devised myriad projects that exploit the board's cheapness and small size ranging from drones to autonomous boats.

About

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

4 comments
DJMullen
DJMullen

We have all been hearing for months now about Ice Cream Sandwich on Rasberry Pi. What we have not seen, however, is a download for the software. Youtube videos are entertaining, but I prefer non-fiction.

DJMullen
DJMullen

The solution is you be more careful with the pi! If you really "almost broke it immediately," then you are being to rough. It is delicate...

philstilliard
philstilliard

The socket holding the Android SD card is very poor, I broke it almost immediately, what is the solution?

Gisabun
Gisabun

Maybe the porting was done because Chrome OS tanked? :-)