Thursday, February 10, 2011

Time to become an Android

Google-driven, Linux-based mobile OS Android must be one of the most amazing success stories in the history of computing. In just a little over two years, this open source project has turned the smart phone market upside down. Statistics now show Android is close to stealing the lead in market share from RIM, having surpassed Windows mobile, Symbiant and iOS in the process.


With the smartphone market under the belt, the idea was to expand the scope of the project and try to take over the tablet world, in which the iPad is the current reference. Come Android 3.0 (codenamed "Honeycomb") later this year, things could start to change very quickly. The following video is the official presentation from Google, which took place just a few weeks ago.

As can be seen, Android 3.0 will bring many interesting concepts and features, certainly impressive for a first go at the whole tablet ordeal.


Unfortunately, in order to try Android and enjoy its features, one needs to buy one of the devices that have it preinstalled... or not? Well, as it turns out, the great people behind the ANDROID-X86 project keep busy compiling Android ISO images that are compatible with x86 architecture.

What does that mean? Well, mainly that Android can successfully run on the TESTED PLATFORMS, but most importantly, that you can download an ISO image, install it on a USB drive and give Android a go on your PC. I have tried myself, and although not all of my PCs enjoyed proper hardware support, it did work in one of them. In case you are interested, you can see some (lots!) SCREENSHOTS that the project members have put together.


Installation on a LiveCD or LiveUSB is quick and simple, just DOWNLOAD the ISO and complete the usual steps for this procedure. Installation on the main hard drive is also possible following the INSTRUCTIONS provided.

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