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How to install Android on a Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi has come a long way from being the tiny underpowered single board computer. Now, it can run a lot of different operating systems.

One such OS is Android. Now while Android is extremely popular on the smartphone front, bringing it on the Raspberry Pi opens up a plethora of opportunities. There’s no limit to what you can do when you combine the open source excellence of both these inventions.

Android has different versions for different devices. Nowadays, you can run Android on pretty much everything. The version we’ll be dealing with in this post is called Android Things.

So in this article, we bring you step-by-step instructions on how to install Android on your Raspberry Pi.

Also read: NodeMCU vs Arduino vs Raspberry Pi

How to install Android on a Raspberry Pi

First up, you’re going to need the following:

  • A Raspberry Pi
  • Ethernet cable
  • microSD card (8 GB or larger)
  • MicroSD card reader
  • Micro-USB cable or Type-C USB cable if you have a Pi 4
  • HDMI display (optional)

Step 1: Download the Android Things Setup Utility from the Android Things Console. Note that you’ll have to sign up using your Google Account and accept some terms and conditions.

You can find the Android Things Console here

Step 2: Once downloaded, extract the .zip file and run the utility as administrator. If you’re on Mac/Linux, use the sudo command.

Step 3: Select the option to install Android Things and choose Raspberry Pi as the board. Select a generic image and follow the rest of the prompts to install Android Things on the SD card.

Alternatively, you can download an image from the Android Things Console and burn it to the microSD card using Win32DiskImager (for Windows) or with Etcher (Windows/Linux).

Now insert the microSD card in the Pi, and you’re good to go.

Plug in your Pi to your router and power. If you have an HDMI display, now’s the time to bring it out. There are two ways to ensure your installation was complete:

  • If attached to a display the Android Things launcher will display information about the board.
  • If not, you can use the Pi’s assigned IP address and connect to it using the ADB tool.

Also read: Raspberry Pi 4 vs Raspberry Pi 3

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