The smallest computer project by the Raspberry Pi project, the Raspberry Pi, already available in two flavors, the Raspbmc and the OpenElec, is now coming on Android. Android is currently the world’s most popular mobile operating system running many tablet and smartphone devices. The Raspberry Pi board shot to fame and gained a lot of popularity because of its price ($25-$35) although most people who bought or wish to buy it never really know what to do with it in the first place.
The Raspberry project is a popular project because it can have so many uses. The initial Raspbery Pi systems ran on Fedora Linus but they could not work with Ubuntu since they use the old ARMv6 architecture, something Ubuntu cannot support. However, Android seems to be the perfect OS for these systems because it is specially designed for deices with low processing power, including the old ARM architecture systems. We hope though that the next generation of Raspberry Pis will be designed and built on the newer architectures such as the Cortex A7. This way, they may even run on dual or quad core processors, thereby being powerful enough to be used for other practical projects. The chip has 700MHz processing power and only 256MB of RAM.
The important news is that the devices will be getting Android Version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS. Here is what they had to say:
“This implementation uses a different kernel and VideoCore binary image from the one available on GitHub, which is why we’ve been keeping quiet about it so far. We’re investigating the feasibility of converging the two code lines to produce a single common platform as soon as we can, at which point we hope to release the sources for you to play with.”
The porting is possible because Raspberry Pi runs on ARM architecture. This is something that custom Android ROM developers in the Android community know well. The ported OS has not worked fully as anticipated although it appears that the hardware acceleration worked properly for some time. Those with Raspberry Pis but would wish to have Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on the board rather than Linux can port Android OS on them.
Although the graphics and other features worked well on initial porting, there are chances that a majority of applications, including Chrome and other apps, may not work on the device.