For those of you who like Android, there is now a stable X86 version IE: a version that will run on a PC or laptop.
This has been an open source project for a few years now and I am glad to see that it is actually a workable solution now.
I had an old laptop, a Dell D630 with a small HD and so I thought I would give it a try on that. It did work, but probably only because I augmented the very sparse installation directions with what I already knew and even then it took me three installs to get it right. The thing is the original instructions tell you to use Gparted an open source disc partition and formatting software and then Grub a boot manager most commonly found in Linux installations.
It goes on to say you should use FAT 32, the old DOS and windows file storing format. All of that is wrong. I would say the installation instructions are very outdated. The download ISO contains both Grub and Gparted in the install, so you don’t have to do much of anything except follow the screen prompts.
The ISO disc of Android X86 contains Android 6 for desktop or laptop with support for many common setups. For instance, it found and setup my Dell D630 with no trouble at all. Once installed, just sign into Google with your Gmail account or whatever you use for Google and it will set up any apps and sync your account.
As I said, no problem. The problem came with shutting down and then doing a cold boot, the laptop would come up with “Not a bootable device”
I made sure that I re-partitioned the drive, formatted the FAT 32, and made the drive bootable. No good. Finally I formatted the drive as a Linux file system, figuring since they were using both grub and Gparted they were probably using the Linux file system. That solved the problem and it worked well that time. I found some information later that the Android OS can not use the FAT 32 file system, so I assume that is why it could not set up a boot from it.
Once it finished setting up the laptop it allowed me to use the entire drive, not just 32 or 64 gig. as you would be bound to on a tablet. It also used the entire 4 gig of memory and it has support for the dual core processor too. Very fast, loads Google Play with no trouble and allows me to download and install apps from the Google store. I installed Word and a version of Open Office. A book Reader app, all worked with no trouble.
The project is open source so it is free to download, free to use and may give new life to your old desktop or laptop. Download directly from Source Forge below, burn the ISO to disc and install it…
Source Forge: https://sourceforge.net/projects/android-x86/
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