Android Nougat Arrives on the Raspberry Pi

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 30, 2016

As we've noted here before, when it comes to top open source stories of the past couple of years, it's clear that one of the biggest is the proliferation of tiny, inexpensive Linux-based computers at some of the smallest form factors ever seen. The diminutive, credit card-sized Raspberry Pi, which has been priced at only $25 and $35, has grabbed most of the headlines in this space. And, just a few months ago, code repositories started appearing online that showed that the Android operating system would be heading for the Pi.

Now, Android 7.0 Nougat has been ported to the Pi, which potentially opens up a whole ecosystem of new apps and applications. Google's latest mobile OS is shown running on the $35 Pi in this YouTube video.

It's key to note here that the Raspberry Pi now has both Bluetooth and WiFi, extending its possibilities over previous generations. Pi users also already have many options for the OS they choose to run on the mini ARM computers, from Windows 10 IoT Core, to Ubuntu core and many other Linux systems. But Android could be a meaningful addition to the mix.

The new Nougat version of Android works only with the Raspberry Pi 3. The source code and instructions on how to get it running are available on a GitHub repository.

As we noted back in May, there are some organic synergies between Android and Pi devices. For example, the education market has always represented a natural fit for Raspberry Pi devices, and Google has given 15,000 Pi devices to U.K. schools. The news about Google's gift to schools was even picked up on the TreeHugger blog. A marriage between Android and the Pi could bring inexpensive but impactful capabilities to students.

 It will be interesting to see what new directions Android might take the Pi in. Stay tuned for more updates in this space.