What is Android ?
Android is the world’s most popular mobile OS and it powers hundreds of millions of mobile devices in more than 190 countries around the world. It’s the largest installed base of any mobile platform and growing fast — every day another million users power up their Android devices forthe first time and start looking for apps, games, and other digital content.
Android is a Linux-based operating system designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. Initially developed by Android, Inc. which Google backed financially and later purchased in 2005.
Android is open source and Google releases the code under the Apache License. This open source code and permissive licensing allows the software to be freely modified and distributed by device manufacturers, wireless carriers and enthusiast developers. Additionally, Android has a large community of developers writing applications that extend the functionality of devices, written primarily in a customized version of the Java programming language.
In October 2012, there were approximately 700,000 apps available for Android, and the estimated number of applications downloaded from Google Play, Android’s primary app store, was 25 billion.
Android’s open nature has further encouraged a large community of developers and enthusiasts to use the open source code as a foundation for community-driven projects, which add new features for advanced users or bring Android to devices which were officially released running other operating systems.
The first commercial version, Android 1.0 was released in September 2008.
Since April 2009, Android OS versions have been developed under a codename and released in alphabetical order: Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Jelly Bean.
Android have more than 500 million devices activated in total and 1.3 million activations per day.
Raspberry-pi having a 700MHz CPU and 512MB of RAM, has specifications that are very similar to a smart phone, so many users have got an ideas of installing Android on the device.
Android 2.3 has already been released , but it doesn’t support hardware acceleration yet, which means the experience isn’t quite as smooth as you might like it to be.
Android 4.0 for the Pi with hardware acceleration is still developing, but if you want to try the early releases.
In any case you’ll need:
-An SD card with at least 4GB of free space (FAT32, not NTFS)
-CyanogenMod 7.2 – custom Android ROM for your Raspberry-Pi
You just downloaded CyanogenMod, and now you have to get that onto your SD card.
Raspberry Pi won’t be able to boot from an SD card with an .img file. Now you have to download a third-party software to first unzip the 7z file — 7-Zip and WinRAR are both capable and then another piece of software is needed to copy the extracted files to the SD card. There’s a handy program for Windows called Win32DiskImager that is both free and lightweight and will be able to take care of all the heavy lifting for you. Simply show it where the .img file that you have extracted is and which device you want to copy it over to. In this case, the SD card was E:\.
I’ve installed Android! What next?
Once you’ve managed to boot off your SD card, you can do pretty much anything that you’d do with Android on a smart phone. You have full Ethernet support, so as long as you’re plugged in, you can browse the Web, check your email, Facebook, etc.
Without hardware acceleration, it might be a slightly underwhelming experience, and the mouse and keyboard are quite limiting if you’re used to using Android on a touchscreen. That aside, however, this is still a really cool project to do with your Raspberry Pi, and it will only get better in the future once AndroidPi 4.0 has been released with hardware acceleration.