Indie devs are currently coding an x86 iteration of Google’s popular Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4) operating system for mobile devices powered by AMD and Intel chips.
An early release of the OS ported by Android-x86 is currently available here, but bear in mind that the x86 version of Ice Cream Sandwich is still in its “no frills” stage.
Meaning, a number of important features still aren’t functional, including audio, camera, ethernet and Intel hardware acceleration.
So what does work? Well, Android-x86 has enabled Wifi, multitouch, OpenGL ES and hardware acceleration for AMD’s Radeon chipset.
The indie devs have also put together an ISO for tablets powered by AMD’s Brazos chipset, with the company officially supporting the initative with engineering support and donated devices.
In contrast, says open-source developer Chih-Wei Huang, “Intel continues ignoring us. I’ve tried to contact Intel many times, but they are not interested in helping us.”
But Intel spokesperson told IDG News that Santa Clara would release drivers to the open-source community only when devices actually hit the market to ensure proper functionality and prevent fragmentation.
“Intel has to focus resources on building products, not experiments,” he added.
AMD’s interest in Android is rather interesting, as the company previously seemed quite content with taking the BlueStacks route, at least until a proper Android port was made available. Then again, AMD – which lacks a virtually inexhaustible source of funding like Intel – clearly needs a quick mobile fix now.
Is Android the fastest route there? Maybe, but it is worth noting that Android tablets have thus far struggled to gain market share as Apple’s iPad continues to reign supreme. As such, Windows 8 might be a better tablet bet for both Intel and AMD.