11 July 2014

Android On x86 - Mobile Envy On A Notebook

'Like Running iPhone On A PC' I installed the latest Android x86 download (4.4-RC2) on a Dell Inspiron 6400 notebook. It worked surprisingly well. It had WiFi straight-up and I downloaded apps. I never did work out how to watch DVDs on the internal DVD drive, but in the process discovered the brilliant, multi-platform  Kodi media player. I even figured-out how to switch android off. (2 quick clicks on the 'on/off button). 
Android is built on the Linux kernel and I began to wonder what is the advantage of running android on a PC?
I found this page from 2011 predicting why Android on x86 will fail. I guess I have to agree with some of the observations made there. Why run a Linux-based OS designed for mobile processors on Intel multicore CPU's with gigabytes of ram when there are sophisticated operating systems designed specifically for this hardware? Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Linux Lite are 3 good examples. You can download 64-bit versions for free and use all the ram you want. So whats going on with the android x86 project and why did they bother? I think it's part of the techno-churn being played out around the world right now. Android and iOS Apple on smart phones and tablets is all the majority of users need in their personal spaces. Facebook, YouTube, email and games keeps most of them happy most of the time. They are not designing buildings, running complex software or even writing books on a mobile device. They are social networking and they are happy.
The tech-heads can sit-back and laugh at how Linux really did take over the world after it had been processed by Google into touch and tap android. Same for Apple, but I find it had to believe iOS was written from scratch when Apple's PC's operating systems are based on Unix?

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