Android 4.0 on your laptop
What does one do with some spare hours and an old laptop/netbook? Bring that laptop/netbook back to life and install +Android
on it of course! Why? Because you like to fiddle around with Android, because you want to repurpose that old laptop, because you don’t own a tablet….
The good thing is, it’s all accomplished with open source software
. And with Android being a pretty lightweight operating system, it will work on most older hardware (where “older” is pretty relative of course). In theory, the whole installation would only cost you maybe 15 minutes
. In practice, it might take a bit longer, depending on the number of “hick-ups” you encounter.
My conclusion this far: it works pretty good with a keyboard and mouse/trackpad input
, maybe even better for writing messages etc. than on a tablet. The +Google Play Store
works, and I am able to download and install apps on my Android netbook. The built in camera works in conjunction with the camera-app, and wifi is working. Video streaming from the web ( +YouTube
etc.) seems to be a problem, even though I installed the +Adobe Flash Platform
app, but local video files are playing fine.
1. the Android for PC installation file: http://goo.gl/5ALuF
. I have installed the RC2-asus_laptop.iso . The eeePC version I tried at first did not work for me. Just try another version if the first one doesn’t work.
2. software to create a bootable USB-stick. I used Unetbootin (http://goo.gl/w8jU2
), take note that the bootable stick will only work on a Windows capable PC (I have not looked into methods for Mac, so I don’t know if there are ways to accomplish that).
3. a netbook/mini-laptop of some sort. Mine is a +TOSHIBA
NB305-N410BL, with an +Intel
Atom N450 and 1GB of Ram.
4. a USB-stick (1 GB minimum)
5. internet access
6. a good installation guide/how to, which you will find here http://goo.gl/QqmIo
I tried to install Android on an SD-card, but this failed, for whatever reason (even though I read somewhere it should be possible). So instead, I decided to just install it on the netbooks hard drive, which I wiped and reformatted (to NTFS) prior to the installation (using Parted Magic http://goo.gl/oLcnp
). Take note: it seems Android can not be installed to a FAT32 formatted partition
. Another issue I ran into was that, before completely reformatting the hard drive, I succeeded at first to install Android, but it wouldn’t keep the Android settings after power off (resulting in having to install it over again).
Once you have Android installed, I would advice you tick uncheck the “screen auto rotate” box in the Android settings menu, because some apps will switch to portrait mode and this does not really work on a laptop/netbook.
Remaining question for now:
is it in any way possible to increase the hard disk space that is allocated to Android? The netbook has a 250GB harddrive and it would be great if Android could use all that space for downloaded files etc. I haven’t found an answer to that yet. #mvanb_misc #android