In 2009, just a year after the first Android smartphone was released, two Taiwanese programmers – Chih-Wei Huang and Yi Sun – went to work to port this operating system, designed for mobiles with ARM architecture, to PCs compatible with Intel architecture. The ‘Android x86’ project was born.
Now, 11 years later, the project not only continues to exist, but has managed to go just one step behind the official Android project (quite an achievement given its meager strength): while the latest stable version of Android released for mobile phones is Android 10, the project that continues to lead Chih-Wei Huang has just done the same with Android 9 Pie.
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Apart from the improvements of Android 9 with respect to previous versions, its ‘port’ for x86 has added a wider range of drivers and various enhancements that optimize the system to run on desktop hardware (for example, emulates WiFi connections on Ethernet computers to improve application compatibility).
It also offers from this new version Android x86 offers an alternative taskbar equipped with a start menu and a recent apps tray (in the style of Microsoft Windows and Linux desktops), for those who do not adapt to the typical usability of mobile devices.
Android x86 can be used both from virtual machines (VirtualBox, VMWare, etc.) and from the hard disk of our computers, being the installation in both cases a relatively simple process. Its code has also been used as the basis for Android emulation projects on Windows and Linux, as well as for other alternative operating systems, such as Remix OS.
Via | FOSSBytes