A team of developers working privately to port the next version of Android to the x86 platform has been receiving a lot of support from AMD, but less from other key players. The project is seeking to port the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) android-4.0.1_r1 release build to the x86 platform, and Chih-Wei Huang, one of the enthusiasts …
What's the USP?
Why are they bothering. There are lots of x86 linuxes.
x86 has years to go before its price/power envelope matches Arm.
x86 tablets have all been dogs or laptops with tablet functions.
Just don't see the point other than "because we can" and if that's the case why should Google or Intel care?
Amd probably only care because they are flailing about struggling to remain relevant having totally failed to jump on the low power bandwagon inspite of having dozens of chances to do so. Amd's sole reason for existence these days is to keep Intel honest. It would be nice if they were a bit sharper but I'm sadly not holding my breath.
Seems you missed some news, both Intel and Google see a point in running Android on x86...
Intel Prepping Android 2.2 For x86 Devices:
Intel is working on Honeycomb for tablets:
Future versions of Android will be optimized for Intel starting next year:
Intel says Android 4.0 for smartphones, tablets ready:
And you seem to have completely missed Fusion, AMD's alternative to Atom + ION.
Maybe some people who have android phones would like to run android on their netbooks that currently run Win7. Not everyone love Linux the same as not everyone loves Windows or OS-X. Some people just use one that they are used to or one thats best for a certain purpose.
I can see Android working on a netbook being fantastic, proper keyboard and with an SSD fast bootup times + battery life.
User of Android, iOS, Windows, OS-X - no linux though
dont deny any of that. What I question is whether any of it will be relevant in the marketplace- not for years I suspect.
Call me when Android on x86 is even comparable to Android on Arm in terms of size, weight. and power consumption.
> User of Android, iOS, Windows, OS-X - no linux though
Yes you are. Android *is* linux. Just not GNU/Linux.
RE: What's the USP?
"x86 tablets have all been dogs or laptops with tablet functions."
Yes they have. And there are many who believe that's because of the OS/UI involved. So they're trying another one -- one that's designed for the form factor.
You're only focusing on the handtop market. You are missing those where x86 doesn't have to compete with Arm to justify a port of Android. There are plenty of other spaces where power and portability don't matter but the Android interface may make a welcome change. There is a whole product space in industrial machinery and in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) where the advantages of Arm aren't so clear. Also with the appearance of ICS on a MIPS based tablet, we can probably expect to see some of those chips coming down the line as well. Who knows, with both x86 and MIPS doing 64 bits already it might mean a 64 bit Android that isn't waiting on Arm.
Dunno, but I have some oldish x86 kit lying at home, and wouldnt mind sticking ICS on it, just to see if it would make a more useful toy then it's current XP32 install.
Toy being the operative word here (for me at least)
Intel have their main customers to keep happy.
With Intel making good money on ultrabook chipsets with Apple and trying to force ODM's onto an Apple like price tier cheap and cheerful Android is in nature an obvious enemy, just like Linux.
In fact Intel even cripples their Atom's so that they don't get used in proper laptops.
Sounds like a cute geek project. Fun if you like that kind of thing but ultimately rather pointless. Kudos for AMD for caring about backroom geeks but I don't see any reason to criticise the others. They are spending their resources in more profitable areas.
I hope this is a mistranslation...
> However, they never contribute back. That usually makes us feel bad and angry.
I could understand "disappointed", but the point of Free licences is that you cannot put obligations beyond that licence onto your users.
So although these companies might be taking Apache-licenced code, using it in commercial products, and not even sharing that code with their downstream, no-one has any right to be angry about that: it is *explicitly* permitted by the licence.
x86 cheap and plentyful
x86 is just about the worst processor for mobile devices. The reason it is popular in Laptops is because a Laptop is a portable desktop computer. It has to be x86 to be compatible.
There are far better processors for mobile devices but only if you ditch Windows and start with a mobile OS. This is now possible because the Internet is now the OS and the computer OS is just a means to operate the Internet.
Having said that, I look forward to a good Android distro for x86 because it may be able to give new life to old laptops.
AMD sees an opertunity
If AMD generates some kind of cross usability between X86 architecture and that which android specific architecture requires or utilizes then as the PC begins its decent into the past... AMD has perhaps a foot in the door or more... Linux and + android on x86 platforms might well prove formidable.
Use your imagination, Personally i have no use for a tablet as I have a AMD based Linux workstation in X86 - 64... but I find some of the "apps" in android interesting. We can just add them to the already 30,000 applications available in Linux
It is actually surprisingly good
I have Honeycomb 3.2 and Linux dual booting with my lightweight Linux of choice on my netbook. It works surprisingly well, quick and responsive and I'll be giving ICS a go soon. In all likelihood I'll switch completely, who wouldn't! If you have an Android phone already and an underused netbook, installing it should be a no-brainer and I can see the gain for a company like Google where it makes revenue from the number of installations with the marketing revenue. The more hardware it can get its software on the better it is for the company.
I still use Linux for word processing on the go mainly and some other tasks and the two are better at different things. It is a case for me of best solution for given task.