Android 4.4.2 KitKat SDK Released for Rockchip RK3188 mini PCs: MK908, MK908 II, MK918 and A9

Shenzhen AW Technology Co Ltd, a company specializing in home entertainment equipment development, manufacturing, and sales, has just informed me they’ve released Android 4.4.2 SDK (Software Development Kit) for four Rockchip RK3188 devices, namely MK908, MK908 II, MK918, and A9. If you’ve never heard about A9, it looks very similar to the upcoming ZERO Devices Z6C. The four SDKs are available in the download page which links to baidu.com as follows: MK908 Android 4.4.2 SDK – password: lvlb MK908 II Android 4.4.2 SDK – password: wpwa MK918 Android 4.4.2 SDK – password: kafo A9 II Android 4.4.2 SDK – password: f1zb Each download section is composed of three files. For MK908, we’ll get: rk3188_4.4.2_without_kernel_20131230.tar.gz (3.85GB) – The Android SDK itself without Linux kernel readme.txt kernel_mk908_20131230.tar.gz – The kernel source code I haven’t completed the download yet, but the readme explains how to use build Android, and flash the SDK: After upzip these two parts, copy the Kernel to SDK’s directory. …

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Android 4.4.2 KitKat Beta Released for Rockchip RK3188 mini PCs

I’ve just been informed that Android KitKat, version 4.4.2, is now available for Rockchip RK3188 powered mini PCs based on AP6210 Wi-Fi module. This is a beta version, but it’s known to work for MK908 II, CX-919, GM282, GK525, iMito QX2, and IPPLI Mars I2C HDMI TV dongles. Albeit MK908 is also based on AP6210 Wi-Fi module, it does not appear to work right now, and the “new” model of MK802 IV with AP6210 might work, but has not been tested. Devices based on AP6330 and other Wi-Fi modules, such as T428 mini PC, are not working with this firmware, and you’ll have to wait a few more days or weeks to get a compatible firmware. Android 4.4 will bring new features that can be interesting with mini PCs such as printing support, screen recording, and overall better graphics and streaming performance. So with the recent release of AndrOpen Office,  HDMI TV sticks get slowly bu surely, ever closer to …

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How to Flash Rockchip RK3066 / RK3188 Firmware in Linux

Rockchip provides 2 tools to update the flash: RkBatchTool – Used to upgrade firmware with a single file RkAndroidTool – Used to flash the NAND flash with image corresponding to particular partition, e.g. system.img. kernel.img, boot.img. recovery.img. etc… One problem is that the company only provides these tools for Windows, so if you’re using a Linux based operating systems, you’d have to run a Windows XP or 7 virtual machine in VirtualBox or VMWare, which is an inconvenience, and requires a license in theory. To work around this issue, I’ve tried to use ReactOS, an open source operating systems compatible with Windows XP, but although the USB drivers appeared to install properly, RKAndroidTool failed to recognized my device (MK908). But a member of Mini PCs community informed me about a tool called RkFlashKit, written in Python and using GTK, that can flash firmware to Rockchip RK3066 and RK3188 devices in Linux, so I’ve given it a try. Installing RkFlashKit In …

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MK908 Rockchip RK3188 mini PC Android 4.2.2 SDK Leaked

We’ve had the Linux source code for RK3188 for a little while, which allowed a preliminary Ubuntu image to boot on devices such as Tronsmart T428. But AFAIK, we did not have any Android SDK for RK3188 HDMI TV Stick, until now. A new user on ARMTvTech has uploaded 5 rar files that can be decompressed into a single 3.2GB file called mk908_RK3188_R-BOX_ANDROID4.2.2-SDK.tar.gz. I’ve had a look, and this is the content of the file which appears to be a complete Android 4.2.2 SDK for MK908. There’s 2 documents in Chinese: mk908_checklist.doc – Apparently some instructions, or recommendations specific to Android MK908_checklist_kernel.docx – Some details about the kernel config There are also more documents and directories in RKTools/docs, but I haven’t checked the details: Back to the root directory, we’ve got a Makefile, and mkimage.sh script, but both are called by 3188.sh script which apparently builds all, and generates a firmware upgrade image. I’ve tried to run 3188.sh, but the …

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Hacking MK908 mini PC for Serial Console Access

Thanks to Omegamoon (and this brother) we already have instructions to connect the UART pins on MK808 in order to access the serial console. He’s done it again with MK908 mini PC featuring Rockchip RK3188. Tx and Rx pads are located on the RAM chips side, and he has connected the green wire to Tx (Going to Rx on TTL debug board), and a yellow wire to Rx (Tx on debug TTL board). A ground pad is available on the other side of the board. Since I got a sample for review from Geekbuying, I decided to give a try myself. The pad are quite small, so this may require patience, but it’s perfectly feasible. I wanted to keep the device closed, so I passed the wires through the ventilation holes (enlarging them a bit with a precision screwdriver), put back the main heatsink on RK3188, and reassembled the enclosure. I did not include the thin heatsink on the other …

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Tronsmart MK908 Quad Core HDMI TV Stick Review

Yesterday, I published some pictures of MK908, and this morning I updated it to the latest firmware, so it’s time to review this mini PC powered by Rockchip RK3188 quad core Cortex A9 SoC. First Boot, Settings, and First Impressions First of all, the firmware update has not changed the Home Screen, and we still get a standard Android Home Screen with an animated wallpaper. Screenshot and volume buttons are shown in the status bar, but there’s no soft power button, and no full screen button. Hopefully the power button can be added in next firmware update, and as we’ll see later the lack of full screen button is not really an issue. As usual, I’ve gone to the settings menu to configure Wi-Fi, and I had no problem to connect. The device also supports Bluetooth (built-in), and you can setup to device with VPN, as a hotspot, and add an Ethernet or 3G USB dongle. So connectivity options look …

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How to Flash Firmware to Rockchip RK3188 HDMI TV Sticks

Yesterday, I’ve received MK908 mini PC featuring Rockchip RK3188, and a new firmware is available, so before further testing I’ll flash the firmware to the device basically using the instructions from Geekbuying. This method use standard Rockchip tools, so it should work for any RK3188 devices. But first a little rant. Those instructions only work on Windows operating systems, so if you’re using Linux or Mac, you’re out of luck until you find a Windows PC, or launch Windows in a virtual machine. This method should just be used in case the device can’t boot, or you have serious issue with the device firmware, but it is also used for firmware upgrade for Rockchip mini PCs. This is just wrong. Typical users should not be asked to install software and drivers, press the recovery button, just to upgrade their firmware. The best very way would be OTA updates, but maybe this is asking too much. The alternative would be to just …

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Tronsmart MK908 Rockchip RK3188 Quad Core mini PC Unboxing Pictures

Tronsmart MK908 is one of the many Rockchip RK3188 Android mini PCs hitting the market this month. Beside the quad core Cortex A9 processor, this Android 4.1 HDMI TV stick comes with 2GB RAM, 8GB flash, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module, 3 USB ports, and a micro SD card slot. Geekbuying is selling the device for $89.99 including shipping, and the company sent me a unit for review. Today I’ll just show somes unboxing pictures, boot the device, and I’ll write a full review tomorrow. I received the device in the box below. But let’s move on to more interesting things, and see what’s inside the package. We’ve got a 5V/2A power adapter, MK908 itself, a short mini HDMI to HDMI cable, a mini UBS to USB cable for power, and a short mini USB to USB female adapter. I eventually found a manual user manual in English which hid itself somewhere in the package, and mainly explains how to …

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