THE RASPBERRY PI PROJECT has been working on porting Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), with the outfit showing off the device already running the operating system.
With Raspberry Pi having announced that order restrictions were lifted on the diminutive machine the only limitation is the availability of software. The outfit recently released Raspbian, a tweaked version of Debian, and now it has demonstrated Android 4.0 ICS running on a Raspberry Pi system.
According to Raspberry Pi project leader Eben Upton, the Android 4.0 ICS port already has hardware accelerated graphics and video, both of which "have been up and running smoothly for some time". Upton said the major part that was missing was Audioflinger.
Upton showed off the Linux kernel the Raspberry Pi Android 4.0 port was using and confirmed that the port uses a different version than Google's release. "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," said Upton.
Raspberry Pi already has a number of full-fledged Linux distributions supporting it, however the wider public is likely to find the familiarity of Android 4.0 ICS a big plus point, and one with a considerable third party app store behind it, the Raspberry Pi could become a very smart set-top box for those that find the excellent XBMC too much to handle. µ