Installing Android OS on the Raspberry Pi 3

There has been a little controversy about the state of Android OS on the Raspberry Pi 3. Some think the images available for the Raspberry Pi 3 at the moment are nothing more than demos, so I decided to give it a shot. This post will focus on getting the image working on the Raspberry Pi 3 and initial setup.

The version of Android OS I chose was RTAndroid, supposedly Android 7.1. The reason I chose this image is because it is being updated frequently. It also claims to work with a majority of the Raspberry Pi’s hardware. I’m using Ubuntu Linux for this installation but hope to get a version working from Windows in the future.

Let’s Start Installing Android OS on the Raspberry Pi 3

First download the image here.

For this tutorial, I will be using rtandroid-aosp-7.1-20170126-rpi3.zip.

I recommend creating a new folder to unzip the contents of the file to keep your Downloads folder clean.

mkdir rt-android
mv ./rtandroid-aosp-7.1-20170126-rpi3.zip ./rt-android/
cd ./rt-android

Unzip the file

unzip ./rtandroid-aosp-7.1-20170126-rpi3.zip -d .

Find the file descriptor of your Class 10 MicroSD Card by using:

sudo fdisk -l

Be sure to use the descriptor without the partition number on the end to format the entire drive. If your MicroSD Card is /dev/sdb and /dev/sdb1 you will use /dev/sdb for the install command.

./install.sh -p -f /dev/sdb

This will take a few minutes and if completed successfully you’ll see a message similar to the following.

Raspberry Pi 3 Android OS Installation Script Outcome

Throw it in the Raspberry Pi and see what happens.

Now from the looks of things this is just an evaluation image so features will be limited. Right off the bat my screen seems a little off. There is actually a watermark in the bottom corner showing this is an evaluation image.

Android Tablet Status for Raspberry Pi 3

After some quick testing I was able to confirm the Bluetooth and WiFi work correctly. Google Play Store cannot be shipped with the image but there is a script to help install it.

Check back soon for some examples on trying to install my own homebrew applications.

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