Android Might Be Heading to the Raspberry Pi 3

By James O Malley on at

There's potentially exciting news for bedroom coders everywhere, as it appears that Google could be soon releasing a version of Android that works on the Raspberry Pi 3.

Such a move would be a big deal, as it would provide a well supported operating system for the tiny computer – and bring with it an easy-to-use interface, and potentially millions of apps too. Which is great news if you want to use the Pi as a PC.

It could also be good for coders and makers because it means that cool new devices that use sensors could be built using Android's extensive development eco-system, and could conceivably integrate more easily with other Android devices. Which would be perfect for "Internet of Things" type gadgets.

The news comes courtesy of ExtremeTech, which spotted a listing for the Raspberry Pi Foundation in the repository for the Android Open Source Project, the part of the Android operating system which Google freely shares with developers.

Spec-wise, it would also be a good fit. The recently released Pi 3 not only boosted the processor and RAM to put it roughly on-par with a low-end Android phone, but it also included Wi-Fi and bluetooth directly on the Pi 3 board, to enable greater connectivity.

As for Google's motivations, it presumably thinks that expanding the Android eco-system to a place where kids can learn to code would be a good thing, and also that providing a platform that can compete with the Windows 10 Internet of Things platform, which can also run on the Pi 3, would also make strategic sense in the battle with Microsoft.

It'll be interesting to see if it goes anywhere – and if soon the Raspberry Pi "NOOBS" installer will add Android to its list of potential operating systems.