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Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

Android on x86: report

Since I ex­pect An­droid on tablets to be a big thing in 2010, I am ex­per­i­ment­ing with the clos­est thing I can get: An­droid in my eee 701 Surf 4G:

SDC14690

I got the test­ing An­droid 2.0 im­age from http://an­droid-x86.org. I had the 1.6 "stable" one but it was... well, it worked aw­ful (half the key com­bos or menu op­tions caused it to crash, re­boot or oth­er­wise au­to­com­bust).

So... how is it work­ing? Slow, but it has po­ten­tial!

The bad:

  • It boots quite fast... but my tricked full Arch Lin­ux in­­stall boots faster.

  • It works sloooooow, you can see in­­di­vid­u­al let­ters when you type in the search gad­get. I read this is a tem­po­rary prob­lem, though.

  • I am get­t­ing a "cas­­trat­ed" ex­pe­ri­ence be­­cause the open an­­droid app stores are not as well stocked as the of­­fi­­cial an­­droid mar­ket­­place (and come on, why the heck can't I get free apps from there???)

    I see ob­vi­ous holes in the app land­s­cape that I sup­­pose are well cov­­ered in the mar­ket (like, is there a Ra­­dio­­Tray re­­place­­men­t?)

    No text ed­i­­tor?

    No semi-de­­cent word pro­ces­­sor? Not even one that gen­er­ates HT­M­L?

  • The web brows­er is pa­­thet­ic. It may be nice for a phone, but for a "re­al" sys­tem? It's aw­­ful. You get the mo­­bile ver­­sions of all sites (ob­vi­ous­­ly) and many don't let you switch to the re­al ones! (even google does that, for Google Read­­er), and of course, no flash.

  • The email app is ter­ri­ble. You can't not-­­top-­­post!!!! "In-Re­­ply-­­To" is of­f-spec!

  • The WiFi set­t­ings are way too hid­­den. They should pop if you click on the wifi icon.

The good:

  • It shuts down in­­­cred­i­bly fast.

  • Some apps are quite nice, spe­­cial­­ly the Aldiko book read­­er is awe­­some (and I can share the ePub books with fbRead­­er on the arch lin­ux side.

  • The in­­­clud­ed SSH client has great ideas.

  • I love the "all your da­­ta is in the SD" ap­proach. I do the same thing with Lin­ux. In fac­t, I have the same ex­act da­­ta or­­ga­ni­za­­­tion now on both OSs :-)

  • The home screen with the slid­ing app draw­er: nice

  • The "grab­bable" sys­tem no­ti­­fi­­ca­­tions on the top bar: very nice

  • The "use the menu key to get the menu" thing? ge­nius ;-)

  • The "ev­ery­thing fullscreen all the time", thing? works on this screen.

  • App in­­stal­la­­tion is a solved prob­lem here.

  • I know I will be able to get Qt work­ing na­­tive... can't wait!

I am not sold yet, Arch is just so much faster right now, and it can do so much more, but...

  • I am get­t­ing a touch­screen for it, so I can ex­pe­ri­ence it more the way it's meant to be ex­pe­ri­enced.

  • I am us­ing it a lot to read at night in bed (Just fin­ished Mak­ers, read it, it's cool!).

  • I am us­ing it for ca­­su­al mail read­­ing (I refuse to re­­ply with that bro­ken ap­p).

  • It's a pret­­ty nice alarm clock, so it's be­­com­ing my bed­­side OS.

I'll write an­oth­er re­port once I have the touch screen or a new (hope­ful­ly faster!) ver­sion run­ning.

Marcelo Fernández / 2010-04-10 22:14:

Roberto, corregite el link a la página de Android, es http://www.android-x86.org/

Saludos

Roberto Alsina / 2010-04-10 22:30:

Oops, ya lo corrijo.

Manuel Muradas / 2010-04-11 04:27:

Se te escapó el inglés al final. Lo peor es que pensé que se me había quemado algún fusible del cerebro =)

Roberto Alsina / 2010-04-11 04:35:

Ugh, lo vengo escribiendo a los saltos hace como una semana, sabía que por algo no lo hab;ia publicado todavía :-D

Traducido y muchas gracias!

Cherry Oh / 2010-07-12 07:23:

Simplemente genial.

Elecciones 2011 / 2011-04-12 15:12:

Anda muy muy bien ! Lo estoy usando para comentarte desde la notebook, me tomo bien el mouse, la placa wi fi, el ethernet y hasta la camara! Ahora lo grabo en un cd y lo pongo en mi vieja pentium 2 a ver que onda, lo que faltaría es emularle una sd card o hacer algo porque la pide el browser para guardar las descargas.

Un saludo.

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