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Android is a talk of the town after iPhone and iPad’s iOS. HTC’s Google Nexus One which we saw a year and half back didn’t do well but Google never looked back then. Samsung, Dell, Motorola, Sony and HTC received the correct OS as a feeding, they were always looking for their phones since slower and sluggish Windows Mobile OS was not helping them to grow.
If you’re looking for installing & testing only the Android apps on your computer (Windows, Mac or Linux), you should install the Bluestacks Android app player instead. This article is about using full Android OS, just like Ubuntu or other Linux distro.
Android-x86 is a project through which it is possible to Install, Preview, Test Android on PC without buying a mobile phone.
There are 3 ways to test ANDROID on an Intel Based x86 PC
- Run Android LiveCD by burning it on a CDROM or by creating a LiveUSB
- Install Android using this live CD or USB to a hard drive
- Run as a virtual machine through VMware Player
The idea is to test Android UI, games, apps, Internet Browsing and lots more. Please Note: This is not intended for flashing your Android phone nor it would work that way.
STEP 1: Download ANDROID ISO
Visit Android-x86 website for more details. Download ISO for LiveCD from Android-x86 Project Page
STEP 2: Download & Install VMware Player (Free)
You need to download & Install VMware Player.
STEP 3: Create virtual machine from downloaded ISO file
You have to change your virtual disk type to be IDE because the default type in VMware is SCSI, and Android-x86 kernel is not configured to support SCSI. You can follow these steps:
- Create a virtual machine.
- Edit virtual machine settings after the virtual machine created.
- Choose the hard disk and remove it.
- Add a hard disk to create a new virtual disk, then you can choose IDE as your virtual disk type.
- When finished, you can install Android-x86 normally.
STEP 4: Run LiveCD or Install ANDROID on this virtual machine
You can choose to run the LiveCD without installing it Or select to install on virtual machine we created above. Installing would be a safer option so that you can have read-write access. It will not harm your computer data, since we are only going to install it on a virtual machine space we created.
There are options different from windows to create a partition. Choose in the sequence shown above.
Once the formatting and installation is done, it will show you a menu through which you can select to log into Android,. It will then check if the Android is installed on a partition and login automatically to show you Lock screen as above.
Slide lock screen to unlock the phone and voilà! Choose menu & you can see an Android board with lots of icons. Play around and test on your PC!
I have not yet completely explored this ANDROID on PC. There had been problems setting up Ethernet network connection and WiFi connection at my end. Try and see if they work at your end or not. I saw many such projects, but this one has good development activity going on as late as up to 2011.
Coming Soon: New features for ANDROID on PC by Android-x86
Following is a list of new features that are being added into this project.
- Port Gingerbread to x86 (gingerbread-x86 branch)
- OpenGL hardware accelerator for SandyBridge platform (olv, cwhuang)
- New x86 toolchain (cwhuang)
- Ethernet update (Yi)
- New target sparta (Doug)
- New target viewpad10 (Al Sutton)
- New target viliv s5 (okwon)
- Mplayer porting (okwon)
- Support external monitor
- better power management
- multi-touch touchpad support
- test out all default applications
Update #1: Use Android App Player
If you’re interested in installing Android apps or games on your PC – I would recommend using BlueStacks. It is awesome & a lot simple to use.
Update #2: Install Gingerbread or Android ICS 4.0 on PC
You can use the same tutorial to install Android ICS 4 on your PC. Just follow the download links here. It looks neat to test Android if you have a great thirst of sneaking into it without spending money on it. I shall keep you posted, You keep me posted if you try this and find some interesting points to share.