ARM processors have been powered smartphones for years now, but they do so much more than help us play games on our phones and catch up on Netflix while on the move. Just because ARM-based CPUs (that’s the Snapdragon, Exynos and Tegra families to name just a few) don’t run the same x86_64 instruction set that your laptop’s Intel or AMD CPU does, doesn’t mean they’re confined to just your smartphones or tablets. Now, ARM CPUs are in smart TV sets, inside cars, embedded devices and IoT devices as well. The Raspberry Pi however, has perhaps been one of the greatest examples of how flexible ARM processors can truly be. The Raspberry Pi has become a great ARM computer that all sorts of projects can be built around, like all-in-one computers, control boxes and a whole lot more. Now however, it might be getting Android superpowers.
The Android Open Source Project (often called the AOSP) has been home to the underlying source code of Android since its inception, and a number of devices are officially supported with their own specific repository. Recently, someone had spotted a repo for the Raspberry Pi 3, the latest version of the little box of wonders, and while there doesn’t appear to be much there right now, this could be a sign that Google is preparing to start support for the device. Now, just because something has been added to the AOSP doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to get a full version of Android. This could be part of an upcoming education project of Google’s or just a place to put some necessary code to help other devices interface with the Pi itself. Regardless, its appearance in the AOSP is encouraging.
The Raspberry Pi 3 is super-cheap right now, $75 will get you the Pi 3 and a kit with memory cards, cables and a housing, and it’s a great way to explore the world of computing as well as Arduino if that’s something you’ve been considering getting into. Great for getting kids involved in computing and code as well, the Raspberry Pi 3 might might be a great family project and if Android does indeed come to the Pi 3 officially, it’ll only get better in the future.