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Posts Tagged ‘Android’

Wandboard Development Boards Get Android 6.0 Marshmallow Support

May 2nd, 2016 No comments

Wandboard development boards powered by Freescale i.MX6 Solo, Dual and Quad Cortex A9 processors were released over 3 years ago with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Contrary to many other boards that don’t get an updated version, Wandboard boards got support for Android 4.4 Kitkat, Android 5.x Lollipop, and now the community has recently released Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Wandboard_android_6.0_Marshmallow

You can try the Android 6.0 SD card image as follows:

Where /dev/sdX is the device for your SD card. If you can remember the first Jellybean release had separate images for each version of the board, but thanks to device tree implementation, a single image is now released with all three versions.

The full source code is also available in a 5.0 GB tarball.

Since Freescale, now NXP, i.MX6 processors will be available until November 2022, we can most probably expect a few more Android releases for the board.

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NanoPC-T3 Octa-core Cortex A53 Single Board Computer Sells for $60

April 29th, 2016 8 comments

FriendlyARM launched NanoPC-T2 single board computer based on Samsung 5P4418 quad core Cortex A9 processor about 3 months ago, and the company has now an update based on Samsung S5P6818 Octa-Core A53 processor with the exact same interfaces and features including Gigabit Ethernet, WiFI, and Bluetooth, HDMI 1.4a, 30-pin expansion headers, etc…

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

NanoPC-T3 specifications:

  • SoC – Samsung S5P6818 octa core Cortex A53 processor @ up to 1.4GHz with Mali-400MP GPU
  • System Memory – 1 or 2GB 32bit DDR3 RAM
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, and 1x SD card slot
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (RTL8211E), 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth LE 4.0 (Ampak AP6212) with on-board chip antenna and IPX antenna connector
  • Video Output / Display I/F- 1x HDMI 1.4a, LVDS, MIPI DSI, parallel RGB LCD
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, 3.5mm audio jack, on-board microphone
  • Camera – 1x DVP interface, 1x MIPI CSI interface
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 type A host ports; 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port; 2x USB 2.0 host ports via 8-pin header
  • Expansions Headers – 30-pin header for GPIO, 8-pin header for power signals, reset and LED 1-2
  • Debugging – 4-pin header for serial console
  • Misc – Power switch, reset button, 1x power & 2x user LEDs, RTC battery header, boot selection button (SD card / eMMC)
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via power barrel; AXP228 PMIC
  • Dimension – 100 x 60 mm (6-layer PCB)

64-bit_octa-core_ARM-development-boardThe board can run Android and Debian from eMMC flash or SD card like its predecessor, as well as Ubuntu Core with Qt, and software and hardware documentation can be found on the Wiki. The board ships with the heatsink shown in the top picture.

The board can be bought on FriendlyARM website for $60 + shipping via China Post ($10), Fedex ($14) or DHL ($34). Shipping fees in brackets are for my location, so you may get other quotes.

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Future Versions of Kodi Might Not Get an Android Port Unless The Project Find Developers

April 28th, 2016 14 comments

As I shortly mentioned yesterday in LibreELEC post, Kodi has now lost its only Android developer earlier this year due to some disagreements, and the project is now (mostly) maintained in Kodi forks such as SPMC or MrMC. The situation is not yet critical, but if Android developers are not found soon, there may not be an Android version in the future, as mentioned on the latest blog post on Kodi.tv.

Kodi_Android_DeadHere’s the excerpt of that developer post specific to Android:

A Call for Android Devs (and Windows and iOS)

As many of you know, we are a bit shorthanded in the Android development department. While there are actually two projects SPMC and MrMC that have Android devs committing code, the upstream project Kodi has no one at the moment. If you are familiar with C++ and Android development (particularly recent Android TV development) and would like to help, feel free to speak up in our forums. The devs of SPMC and MrMC are very nice people and would likely be happy to mentor you. In addition, much of the early work you’d need to do would be to simply port the work done on SPMC and MrMC into Kodi, so the learning curve shouldn’t be as steep it otherwise might be.

And we can’t stress this enough, if we don’t get an Android dev soon, Kodi for Android could very well die out. This is a significant future problem.

Bold highlights are mine. Since Kodi for Android have been installed over 5 million times on Google Play, the project is definitely popular. Kodi development work is pro bono, and developers would also need to have the skills and time to get involved in the project. Having said, it would be a nice addition to any resume, so if you are interested, or know somebody who would be interested in getting involved, you may want to contact Kodi team. Kodi 17 Android is still being built, but I’ve been told it could still problematic for Amlogic TV boxes, and it’s not only a problem for Kodi 18 or beyond.

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Categories: Android, Programming Tags: Android, kodi

Inforce 6601 micro SoM Snapdragon 820 System-on-Module Embeds WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS

April 28th, 2016 1 comment

We’ve already seem Intrinsyc’s Snapdragon 820 development board and module, but there’s now an alternative thanks to Inforce Computing 6601 micro SoM  which is pin-to-pin compatible to the company’s earlier Inforce 6401 and Inforce 6501 Micro SOMs, also based on Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, and works with the same SYS6501 carrier board.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Inforce Computing 6601 Micro SoM specifications:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (APQ8096) quad core ARMv8 processor with two “Gold” cores up to 2.2 GHz, two “Silver” cores up to 1.6 GHz, Adreno 530 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0, and Vulkan, as well as  Hexagon 680 DSP  up to 825 MHz
  • System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 @ 1866 MHz
  • Storage – 64GB UFS 2.0 gear 3 flash up to 5.83Gbps, 1x micro SD card 3.0 interface for support for to HS400,  optional eMMC 5.1 flash.
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.1 & 2×2 dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi (QCA6174), and GPS (WGR4310)
  • Peripherals and I/O via two 100-pin SoM connectors:
    • Video / Display – 1x HDMI 2.0, dual MIPI-DSI (4-lane) & touch screen
    • Audio
      • 4x Line out, 3x Mic-in, 2x headphone out
      • On-board WDC9355 audio codec
      • Codec support for MP3, AAC + eAAC, WMA 9/Pro, Dolby AC-3, eAC-3, DTS
    • Camera – 3x MIPI-CSI (3x 4-lane) up to 28 MP with zero shutter lag
    • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x USB 3.0 host/OTG port
    • 1x PCIe, 1x SDC, SLIMBUS
    • JTAG, 8x GPIO, 12x BLSPs for UART, I2C, and SPI
  • Video / Image Capabilities
    • H.264 playback and capture @4K60
    • H.265 playback @4K60 and capture @4K30
    • VP9 playback up to 4K60
    • Dual 14-bit Spectra ISP with support for up to 1.2GPix/sec throughput
  • Power Supply – +3.3V/6A DC input; On-module MA8996 MIC
  • Dimensions – 50 x 28 mm
  • Weight – 11 grams
  • Temperature Range – Operating: 0° C to 70° C; Storage: -20° C to 80° C
  • Certifications – RoHS and WEEE compliant, FCC.
6601 Micro SoM Block Diagram - Click to Enlarge

6601 Micro SoM Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

The company provides Android 6.0 Marshmallow / Linaro Ubuntu Linux BSPs for the module, as well as several free Qualcomm SDK such as Vuforia VR, Alljoyn proximity connectivity, FastCV computer vision, Symphony System Manager, and Snapdragon for facial recognition. SYS6601 development kit includes a Inforce 6601 Micro SOM pre-loaded with either Linux and Android, a mini-ITX baseboard, and other accessories.

6601 micro SoM Development Kit - Click to Enlarge

6601 micro SoM Development Kit – Click to Enlarge

It’s exactly the same carrier board as for SYS6501 development kit so I won’t repeat the specs again.

Inforce 6601 micro SoM is sold for $270, while the complete development kit goes for $475. More details can be found on the product page.

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Watch Live TV on the Go on your Smartphone or Tablet with a $38 Portable WiFi Digital TV Tuner Box

April 28th, 2016 11 comments

Companies have showcased products letting users watch DVB-T or ISDB-T channels since 2013, with products such as Geniatech WiTV, Tivizen USB dongles, or Geniatech PT115m/PT115e USB DVB-T Sticks. The only problem is that those devices never seem to become available, but I’ve now found that they’ve become easier to purchase since 2014 & 2015, with for example a “DTV Link” WiFi tuner box selling for $45.99 on Buyincoins, and compatible with SianoTV app for Android or iOS.WiFi-TV-Tuner-Box“DTV Link” WiFi TV tuner box specifications & features:

  • Digital TV Standards – DVB-T & ISDB-T Oneseg
  • Codecs – H.264/MPEG-4 and MPEG-2
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, 7 to 10 meters max range.
  • Battery – 600mAh rechargeable battery good for about 3 hours of TV viewing
  • Dimension – 69 x 54 x 21mm
  • Weight – 52g

The device ships with a USB Charging Cable, and user’s manual in a bubble bag (no retail package).

The video below shows how it works on another SianoTV compatible device called Meron. But basically the device is a WiFi access point (Meron, password: 12345), and once you’ve connected to it you can scan channels and watch TV with SianoTV app. Bear in mind that since only DVB-T and ISDB-T are supported, only SD resolution is available, no HD.

The device is also found on Aliexpress for as low as around $38 shipped. If you’d rather watch HD channels, I found “Lesee DVB-T2 WiFi box” selling for $68.99 on Aliexpress or $73.99 on eBay. The app for that model is called Lesee DVBT2 WiFi, and you’d be one of the first to try since there are only 1 to 5  installs reported with the app was first released on April 21.

Thanks to Onebir for the tip.

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Categories: Android, Hardware, Video Tags: Android, dvb, ios, smartphone, tablet, tv

MXQ Pro Amlogic S905 Android TV Box Sells for $30 (Promo)

April 27th, 2016 9 comments

MXQ Pro TV box based on Amlogic S905 64-bit processor was launched at the end of last year for about $48. The price has come down after a few months, and GearBest is now selling NEXBOX MXQ Pro for as low as $28.99 (price will show when you add it to the cart), and if it goes back to $35, you should be able to use GBNB coupon to get it for $30.50 shipped.

NEXBOX_MXQ_ProNEXBOX MXQ Pro specifications:

  • SoC –  Amlogic S905 quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 2.0GHz with  penta-core Mali-450MP GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB NAND flash + SD card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0, AV
  • Video Codec – 10-bit H.265 up to 4K @ 60 fps, H.264 up to 4K @ 30 fps
  • Audio – HDMI, AV, coaxial S/PDIF
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (No Bluetooth)
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Misc – IR receiver
  • Power Supply –  DC 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 11.6 x 11.6 x 2.7 cm

The device runs Android 5.1, and ships with the power adapter, an IR remote control, an HDMI cable, and a user’s manual in English.

I have not reviewed the device myself, and one person did a video review, where we can see the user interface is the same as the one found on Beelink MINI MX, and his overall conclusion is positive.

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PINE A64+ Board Giveaway

April 25th, 2016 450 comments

PINE A64 and A64+ board are incredibly inexpensive, but still not free, so when PINE64 asked if they could give eight PINE64+ boards with 1GB RAM and the WiFi & Bluetooth module to CNX Software readers, I thought it was not a bad idea, and I’ve decided to organize a giveaway.

Pine_A64_PlusThe eight boards given away will have the following specs:

  • SoC – Allwinner A64 quad core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1 GB DDR3
  • Storage – micro SD slot supporting up to 256 GB
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 up to 4K resolution @ 30 Hz, and 4-lane MIPI DSI connector and touch panel connector
  • Audio – HDMI, 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet + WiFi & Bluetooth module
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Camera – MIPI CSI camera interface
  • Expansion – 40-pin Raspberry Pi 2 compatible header + 34-pin “Euler” header
  • Misc – RTC header
  • Power – 5V via micro USB port; 3.7V Lithium battery support
  • Dimensions – 127mm x 79mm

The company provides support for Android 5.1.1 and Linux 3.18 (soon 4.2), and various community based distributions as available such as Ubuntu 16.04, or Debian Jessie. You can see how the board compares other low cost 64-bit ARM boards in my Raspberry Pi 3, ODROID-C2 and Pine A64+ comparison. Pine A64+ is about twice as cheap and comes with many of the features of the other boards.

Pine_A64_Board_BottomTo enter the draw simply leave a comment below.

Other rules are as follows:

  • Only one entry per contest. I will filter out entries with the same IP and/or email address.
  • The contest are open for 72 hours starting on April 25, 10:00am (Bangkok time). The comments section will be closed once the contest ends, so if it is open, you can still participate.
  • Winners will be selected with random.org, and announced in the comments section of the giveaway.
  • I’ll contact the winners by email, and expect an answer within 24 hours, or run another draw for people who have not replied in time.
  • PINE64 will handle shipping (free of charge) to the winners, so I’ll share the winners’ email with the company so that they can proceed.

Good luck! If you end up being unlucky, you can always purchase one or more boards on Pine64 website.

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Sub $100 Remix OS Laptops Powered by Allwinner A64 Processor Are Coming Our Way

April 23rd, 2016 24 comments

Remix OS is a fork of Android making the popular operating system more suitable for desktop use with a start-up menu, better handling of multi-tasking, multi-window support, etc… It’s found in several tablets and TV boxes including Jide’s own Remix mini. But Charbax has showcased a few Remix OS laptop prototypes based on Allwinner A64 processor, with the video apparently shot from Allwinner office.

Remix_OS_LaptopThe first model is a white 11.6″ laptop (1366×768) with Allwinner A64 quad core Cortex A53 processor, looking quite similar to Olimex DIY laptop prototype also based on A64, with 1 to 2GB RAM, 8GB to 32GB flash, and a “nice keyboard and touchpad”.

The second model is based on the hardware, except the screen is larger (14.1″). It features HDMI output, two USB 2.0 ports, a micro SD slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Those two models are expected to sell between $80 and $100 depending on the final specs such as battery capacity, and overall build quality.

They don’t come with a touchscreen though, so they’ve come with a third 11.6″ 2-in-1 model with a touchscreen, and either Allwinner A64 or  Allwinner A83T octa-core processor that should be cost less than $100.

Those are probably reference designs, so the exact price will depend on the manufacturers themselves, and it’s also unclear when they’ll ship. Charbax also mentions that the Allwinner A64 Remix OS laptops may be crowdfunded later on.

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