Android 11 Release – People-centric Communication and “Pixel-First” Features

Six months have passed since Android 11 developer preview was released in February and at the time we noted enhancements for foldables and 5G, new call-screening APIs, new media & camera capabilities including animated HEIF support, as well as machine learning improvements. Google has now officially released Android 11 that is currently rolling out to select Google Pixel, OnePlus, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Realme phones. More phones will be upgraded/supported in the future, and Google also introduced some Pixel-first features that will (initially?) end up on Pixel phones exclusively. All Android 11 phones will support chat bubbles to message on top of other applications, built-in screen & audio, wireless Android Auto support with compatible cars, one-time permission for increased privacy, and more. But Google may have changed strategy trying to make Pixel phones more attractive to prospective buyers and increase sales as the Android 11 release comes with the following Pixel-exclusive features: Live View with Location Sharing in Google Maps – […]

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GloDroid Brings Android 10 OS to Raspberry Pi 4, Orange Pi SBC’s, PinePhone, and PineTab

The community of developers working on software for single board computers often prefer to focus on Linux support, as companies will often provide Android firmware images. But those Android OS images are often not maintained at all, so we’ve seen some projects like the past such as H3droid bringing a better Android OS to Allwinner H3 and H2+ boards and devices. The project is still using Android 4.4 KitKat and that’s getting old with some apps like the latest version of Kodi not working anymore. But a new project has just been brought to my attention with GloDroid leveraging AOSP to bring Android 10 to various Allwinner based boards and platforms, as well as Raspberry Pi 4B. List of supported Allwinner hardware: Allwinner H3 (32-bit) based – Orange Pi Plus 2 SBC, Orange Pi Plus 2E board, Orange Pi PC Allwinner H5 (64-bit) based – Orange Pi Prime, Orange Pi PC 2 Allwinner H6 (64-bit) based – Orange PI 3 […]

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DragonBoard 845c Android (AOSP) Reference Board Supports Open Source Graphics, Mainline Kernel

Robotics DragonBoard 845c AOSP

Besides the obvious Google Pixel and Nexus devices supported by AOSP (Android Open Source Project), we previously covered some single board computers that were also officially supported by the project with Hikey and Hikey 960 Android reference boards. Linaro Consumer Group (LCG) has just written about Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 based Dragonboard 845c board. It has been now an official Android reference board for a few months now, and it is the first such board with an open-source graphics stack thanks to Freedreno graphics driver and mesa framework. Since no proprietary blobs are required, the board’s full functionality can also be upstreamed into the mainline kernel, and Linaro currently uses the board as a test target for validating the mainline kernel and stable updates. Here’s a reminder of the board’s hardware specifications: SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 with 8x custom 64-bit ARMv8 CPUs up to 2.8 GHz, Adreno 630 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 3.2 + AEP, DX next, Vulkan […]

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Google Android Flash Tool Allows You to Flash AOSP From a Web Browser

The Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and projects derived from it usually requires flashing the firmware from the command line. It works for developers for it may not be that convenient for end-users. Google Android Flash Tool aims to simplify everything by allowing people to flash AOSP from a web browser. Bear in mind there are currently some limitations. First, you need to have a web browser that supports WebUSB and right now it includes Chrome, Edge (driver required), and Opera. If you use Firefox, for instance, you’ll be asked to download Chrome. The tool does not work to flash Android into tablets or Chrome OS devices, and currently only works on recent Pixel phones (Pixel 2 or newer), and Hikey development boards. But if you have either of those you could enter the tool page, connect the phone or board to your computer via a USB cable, select the software to install and flash it to your device right […]

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Cost-Optimized Rock960 Model C Board Sells for $69 and Up

Rock960 Model C

96Boards compliant Rock960 board launched last year for $99 with Rockchip RK3399 processor, 2 to 4GB RAM, 16 to 32GB eMMC flash for $99 and up. However, now you can buy a Rockchip RK3399 SBC for as low as $45 plus shipping thanks to FriendlyElec NanoPi NEO4 board that comes with 1GB RAM and no built-in storage, relying instead on a micro SD card slot or eMMC socket. So VAMRS decided to design a cheaper version of their board with Rock960 model C that still benefits from being part of the 96boards ecosystem, is equipped with 1, 2 or 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, and the OS can boot from a micro SD card or an optional eMMC flash module. The 1GB version of the board is now sold for $69 on Seeed Studio with shipping scheduled for the 1st of February 2019. Rock960 model C preliminary specifications: SoC – Rochchip RK3399 hexa-core big.LITTLE processor with 2x Cortex A72 cores up to […]

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Android 8.1 Firmware and SDK Released for Orange Pi 4G-IoT Board

Orange-Pi-4G-IoT-Android-8.1

When Orange Pi 4G-IoT board launched a few months ago, it shipped with a not so recent Android 6.0 operating system. But the good news is that Shenzhen Xunlong Software has now released Android 8.1 firmware for their Mediatek MT6737M quad core Cortex A53 LTE Cat 4 board, as well as the corresponding SDK. This makes it the cheapest Android 8.1 board with LTE connectivity available on the market so far as it goes for just under $50. The SDK is a large tarball (22.6 GB) split into 11 smaller files. It’s hosted on MEGA so download is fairly fast, but due to the size I had to install MEGA Sync software in order to download it easily. Once the download is complete, it’s not recognized in Nautilus, but you can extract the SDK as follows in a terminal: This will take a while and extract over a million files for a total of 64.8 GB. We can now have […]

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Hikey 970 Development Board is Now Up for Pre-order for $299.99

Four A.I. development boards compliant with 96Boards specifications were announced at Linaro Connect HK 2018 last month: HiKey 970, Ultra96, as well as ROCK960 PRO & Enterprise Edition. So for we only knew pricing for Ultra96 ($249), but I’ve now noticed Hikey 970 “Super Edge AI Computing Platform”  is now up for pre-order for $299.99 on Lenovator website, with shipping planned for the end of April. [Update: Also found on Seeed Studio for the same price] Hikey 970 specifications: SoC – Huawei/Hisilicon Kirin 970 with 4x Cortex A73 @ 2.36GHz,  4x Cortex A53 @ 1.8GHz, Arm Mali G72-MP12 GPU, NPU (Neural Processing Unit) with 256MAC/cycle @ 960MHz System Memory – 6GB 1866MHz, 4 Channel LPDDR4x Storage – 64GB UFS storage, micro SD card slot, PCIe Gen3 on M.2 M key connector Video Output – HDMI 1.4 type A up to 1080p60 (TBC), 1x 4-lane MIPI DSI (via HS expansion connector) Video – MPEG2 @ 80 Mbps, MPEG4 @ 50 Mbps, […]

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HiKey 960 Android Development Board Gets a 4GB RAM Version for $250

Hikey 960 development board is one of the most powerful Arm boards on the market thanks to Huawei/Hisilicon Kirin 960 octa-core processor with four ARM Cortex A73 cores, four Cortex A53 cores, and a Mali-G71 MP8 GPU, fast storage with 32GB UFS 2.1 flash, and 3GB LPDDR3 memory. Like the earlier Hikey (620) board, the board is also an official reference board for AOSP, so you should be able to run the latest Android version, and also play with sensors using Neonkey SensorHub 96Boards mezzanine board. If you are somehow limited by the 3GB RAM on the board, you can rejoice as Seeed Studio has just launched a 4GB RAM version selling for $249, or about $10 extra. Note that shipping is only scheduled for February 2, 2018, so those are pre-orders. The rest of the specifications for Hikey 960 4GB RAM version are unchanged: SoC – Huawei Kirin 960 octa-core big.LITTLE processor with 4x ARM Cortex A73 cores @ […]

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