back to article Raspberry Pi served with Ice Cream Sandwich

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has ported Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to its inexpensive ARM-based motherboard, allowing owners to install apps from Google Play and make use of touchscreen tech. The organisation revealed this week that it was adding the finishing touches to its Android 4.0 port, offering those with the fag …


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  1. Eugene Crosser

    "you can't get much sweeter than raspberries and ice cream"

    you can: raspberries and jelly beans.

  2. Kay Burley ate my hamster

    In the pudding?

    You mean in the eating.

    Also... This is great! :D

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In the pudding?

      Not this one again.....

  3. TeeCee Gold badge

    "To see all your apps, touch the circle."

    <-- On a telly screen.


    1. Paul Hayes 1

      Re: "To see all your apps, touch the circle."

      or using the mouse pointer that appears in android with a mouse plugged in perhaps?

      Have you actually watched the video?

      1. borkbork

        Re: "To see all your apps, touch the circle."

        Yeah, and 2 mice for pinch-zoom...

  4. Professor Falken

    This is the reason why I bought my R-PI!

    So that I wasn't restricted to the broken cobination of Java/Linux that is Androind on a cheap computing device.

    Thanks for evcerything so far to all those involved in the R-Pi stuff, but this is a step backwards in my opinion.

    If someone can get "proper" linux running on my Moto Atrix instead of Android, I'd be far more interested...

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Re: This is the reason why I bought my R-PI!

      Yes, providing the option is a "step backwards". They should just force everyone to use the same OS regardless of what they want to acheive with the device.

      1. wowfood

        Re: This is the reason why I bought my R-PI!

        Why bother with linux? All that gui stuff is just a step backward, they should just put Unix on there.

      2. SuperTim

        Re: This is the reason why I bought my R-PI!

        Force everyone to use the same OS? Why exactly should they do this? That sound's suspiciously apple-like. I am quite happy to have a choice of any number of free OS's (or non-free if they are good enough) on a device that I own.

        Will I use ICS? Dunno yet.

        1. undeadMonkey93

          Re: This is the reason why I bought my R-PI!

          The Joke

          Your Head

          1. Ilgaz

            Not a joke but why?

            As a qt fan and a guy who can still stand to gtk apps (minus gnome3/ Mono/icaza) , I understand the guy, he is not joking.

            Question to be asked is, why these guys (all Android devs) code millions of apps while they ignored qt/gtk/linux/*bsd for decade?

            They still hate Java, they aren't all for money, they aren't idiots, they don't all spy.

            I would say development environment but it is eclipse! Isn't that also collectively hated for years except its fans?

    2. Ilgaz

      Re: This is the reason why I bought my R-PI!

      Proper Linux exists for Android, you just need root access. Check app store.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is the reason why I bought my R-PI!

      Because you don't want it nobody should have it?

      Of course, so silly of them to forget to ask what you thought first. You should ring them up, they obviously need guidance about why providing choice and variety is a bad thing.

      1. Professor Falken

        Re: This is the reason why I bought my R-PI!

        Wow! I started a flame thread! :)

        Look, don't get me wrong, porting Android to the pi is very clever and brings a load of apps to a platform on which they were previously unavailable.

        That said, if I wanted a cheap Android device, I'd go on t'interwebs and purchase a tablet or phone that already has a touch-screen and probably has a lot more Ram and more powerful processor than the Pi for not much more money (there are pads on the market running ICS with a 1GHz chip and 512M RAM for around £52 - that's only £8 more than I paid for my R-Pi from RS inc. shipping/power adapter/SD Card etc).

        I love the open-ness of the R-Pi (that's why I was trying to place an order at 6am the day it was launched to help it become a sucess) however with Debian, Arch and Fedora already available for it and applications that will allow you to do much more than you can achieve on a phone, I'm just struggling to see why porting to Droid is such a massive thing.

    4. Dr. Mouse

      Re: This is the reason why I bought my R-PI!


      "this is a step backwards in my opinion."

      It's not a step backwards to offer another option. I believe it would be to offer ONLY Android on the Pi, but not as well as. It's called choice.

      On to:

      "If someone can get "proper" linux running on my Moto Atrix instead of Android, I'd be far more interested..."

      I have an Atrix, and have been looking for something similar myself. For a long time, the best you could get was running Linux in a chroot with a vncserver display (or terminal access through something like connectbot) or using the webtop (which requires external display etc).

      Things have changed. I am currently using a modified version of a set of scripts provided by the "Debian Kit" app. This tries to integrate Debian (or Ubuntu) into the environment (as is successful in many cases, to a point, due to non-overlapping mount points).

      The other development which has interested me is an X server for android. Using this, I am able to run Linux GUI apps, or even a full desktop, inside android. This is much better than using VNC, although not yet fully-featured.

      Have a go yourself. I can't give you instructions (if you need them) yet, as it has taken a bit of hacking around to get it working, but all the pieces are there.

      Beyond that, there is always the possibility of hacking the "webtop" about to get what you want. It may even be possible to dispense with Android entirely, although I reckon that would take a lot of work.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Excellent stuff

    Now I can get my RaspberryPi working as a BBQ Jukebox for the weekend using PlayMySong..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Excellent stuff

      Was thinking that this might get me closer to an HTPC for the kids in the car... XBMC is under development for Android, and pairing with a touchscreen could be interesting.

      Of course, OpenElec would still be the more stable option (for now at least).

      Anyone know of any projects out there using the Pi as an in-car HTPC?

      1. Rob Beard
        Thumb Up

        Re: Excellent stuff

        XBMC is already available natively, I gather it goes under the name RaspBMC.

        Not tried it myself, but I'm sure for an in-car PC with a infrared remote (or maybe even a USB controller of some sort) it would do the trick. In fact I keep meaning to try something like that myself with my Pi and an old portable DVD player with composite video inputs.


        1. Oolons
          Thumb Up

          Re: Excellent stuff

          Or OpenElec - works perfectly as long as you don't play any old mpeg stuff - so far raspbmc has been a bit stuttery for me.

  6. Bob Vistakin

    iOS next? Well, WP7 / WP8 then?

    Thought not. These "superior" but closed systems wouldn't even fit on the sdcard.

    Anyway, when you try this expect a knock on the door from a desperate microsoft lawyer asking about his five bucks.

    1. Ilgaz

      Ms can't even try

      Win phone 8? Even if Ms offered it for free, interest will be minimal.

      As a former symbian user (before Elop), I had to move to Android and I still dislike google. The activity in Android community amazes me, the rate of it. And even the general, non technical community are amazingly adopting everything, there are guys who doesn't even change win wallpaper and try 5 different launchers in a week.

  7. Mr Temporary Handle

    While I applaud the effort in getting this to work there is just one minor niggle.

    Android is practically unusable with a touchscreen and something which the 'Ooh Shiny' brigade may not have noticed in their 'enthusiasm' with all that jumping up and down and waving their arms around because their favorite shiny toy is now working on the R-Pi.

    The R-Pi does not have a touchscreen and the foundation has no plans to produce one at present. Nor does anyone else as far as I am aware.


    Graham Dawson

    Yes, providing the option is a "step backwards". They should just force everyone to use the same OS regardless of what they want to acheive with the device.



    Something else you may not have noticed. Google has strict rules about what you may and may not run on Android devices which it enforces by remotely disabling and/or removing the 'offending' item.

    1. The Axe

      Mouse instead of touchscreen

      If you watch the video on the PI blog you'll see that you don't need a touch screen, just a mouse.

    2. Irongut

      It has been possible to buy touchscreen monitors for years before Android and iOS came along. Since the R-Pi has an HDMI output I'm guessing you could connect it to a touchscreen monitor that has an HDMI socket.

      Or is that too complicated for you?

      1. FutureShock999
        Paris Hilton

        Plugging is easy..

        Plugging in a touch sensitive monitor is easy...having the OS recognise it and have an actual _driver_ that properly works with it is the real test. And especially if you want multitouch, etc. that is a much harder proposition until someone hacks it up. Which will happen, of course. But my thought is that by the time you pay for a touchscreen monitor with HDMI output, and a Pi, you probably could have bought a full ICS tablet off the shelf, and had it all in a nice case. Now, if you want to couple that Pi to something like a Watcom 21" touchscreen interface...then you are talking. Although putting a £50 processor on a £1000 touchscreen seems unbalanced...

        Paris, because SHE knows all about touch-screens...

      2. Richard Plinston

        > HDMI output

        Or get an HDMI to DVI or VGA converter.

    3. not_equal_to_null


      You obviously have no idea what you are talking about.

      'The R-Pi does not have a touchscreen and the foundation has no plans to produce one at present.'

      Actually, there are a number of touch screens on the market that communicate over USB or Serial. I myself have a 3m monitor with a serial touch controller, and am writing some drivers for it. You can also get units consisting of an LCD panel and touchscreen for ~£75 from various online tat bazaars.

      '...enforces by remotely disabling and/or removing the 'offending' item'

      Yes, but only on devices with the Play Store installed. These are so-called 'Google Experience' devices, which are approved by Google. Android is to the Play Store as Windows is to Office.

      I think you'll find the door is over there.



      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Is that a monitor made by 3M or a monitor with a screen diagonal of three metres?

        1. not_equal_to_null

          Re: @not_equal_to_null

          it's a 3M (the brand) M170 (serial), which I 'liberated' from work.

          Besides, I thought diagonal screen size was measures in decimal furlongs or something as per The Registers' weights and measures guidelines?

    4. P. Lee

      re: no touchscreen

      Apple trackpad anyone?

  8. ElNumbre

    Memories, all alone in the moonlight

    [Full disclosure: I've not watched the video as I'm at work]

    How are the memory requirements handled? 256 Mbytes + ICS does not sound conducive to a speedy, stable experience. Have they made the memory swappy to get round the limited working space?

  9. Jason Bloomberg

    Yay! Yippee!

    Coming soon, hopefully not as long as it took to get hardware available, but it does seem there is a history of the foundation announcing things before they are ready and available.

    While ICS running on "an ARM GNU/Linux box for $25" [sic] is perhaps great for the community of pi users as a whole it again seems to be playing to the "cheap PC" balcony more than furthering the educational goals the foundation hopes to inspire.

    Though it's hard for me to see the benefits of ICS on a primarily desk-bound system I welcome its availability and it will be interesting to see how it compares with other OSs and what it facilitates. I'm also looking forward to seeing Chrome OS, RISC OS and possibly Microsoft .Net Micro Framework in the future.

  10. Pahhh

    Its not trying to be a PC

    Whats the frigging point.

    Android is for portable devices. As small as the RaspPi is , it just aint that small or have an applicable screen / interface.

    Ok I'm speaking from the perspective of someone that has one in a Lego box on a 50" TV but trully regardless I dont see the appeal.

    I've now got my RaspPi standalone again (with the aid of a WiFi USB card) , but its still reliiant of a reasonable power supply.

    Its a fanstastic hobbiest machine. What it isnt is a computer thats suitable for everyday tasks. Even with the minimilst web browser, the dang thing is SLOW. Ok so I've not got the latest OS which uses the FPU but I dont imagine a world of differences.

    I am NOT putting the device down. I own one and will get another. The fun part of the RasbPI is how could can use low powered , reasonably priced computing to different tasks. It aint a replacement to the desktop though,......

    1. Professor Falken
      Thumb Up

      Re: Its not trying to be a PC

      You put that far better than I did :)

    2. ElNumbre

      Re: Its not trying to be a PC

      I assume when you say "its still reliiant of a reasonable power supply", you're talking about converting the Pi into a portable machine? I'm wondering what the amerperage is like, and need to sit down and do the calculations for powering the Pi by the sunlight - I'm thinking of Panel + battery vs drain to get it to run 24x7, even during the winter.

      As an aside my current RaspBMC is powered by the USB socket on my telly. Its a shame HDMI can't power it.

      1. Jason Bloomberg

        Re: Amperage

        I'm wondering what the amerperage is like, and need to sit down and do the calculations for powering the Pi by the sunlight

        The Pi itself has a 700mA polyfuse on the power input (schematic shows 1100mA but 700mA fitted). That's for the board plus USB devices plugged in rated at 100mA each, so around 500mA max @ 5V drawn by the chips and board itself (2.5W), plus anything else you need to power.

        The main problems encountered are that the polyfuses for the USB ports have a high resistance causing too little voltage for some USB devices, plus system resets due to inrush currents when devices are plugged in. This can be overcome by modifying the board and skipping the fuses if it is a problem.

        It's not designed for battery power nor as a portable device so there's some hoops to be jumped through to allow that. A technical issue is efficiently getting whatever voltage 'sunlight' provides down to the 5V the Pi needs but that's not insurmountable.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ ElNumbre


        there is even less such thing as "amerperage".

        The correct term is *CURRENT*

    3. Bill Neal

      Re: Its not trying to be a PC

      then its trying to be a fag pack?

  11. Kevin 6


    too bad according to allied it will probably be damn near the end of September before it gets shipped...

  12. jamesb2147

    The pack of fags

    Remember, we here in the good ol' US of A have another meaning for the word fag that generally trumps any alternates...

    Which makes the phrase "fag pack" an interesting choice of words for a man named "Caleb Cox."


  13. Pahhh
    Thumb Up

    Re: Its not trying to be a PC @ ElNumbre

    "I assume when you say "its still reliiant of a reasonable power supply", you're talking about converting the Pi into a portable machine?"

    It kind of depends what you got connected to it. I know with the RS 1200 mA power supply it wasnt impressed powering a USB keyboard and something else in the USB connector. My findings however arent very scientific. Plus I also overlocked the CPU (but not changes the CPU voltage).

    Still thats a reference point , 1.2W to power the RaspPi and whatever low powered devices you got connected. So totally in the realms of battery with solar pannel recharge. No experience in this but I would assume that if you would need around 5W of solar panel output on the assumption of 8h of day light. Sure someone in the know will chime in ( and probably a few dozen than dont).

    Anyhow the RasbPi is all about giving it a go.....

  14. Al Jones

    Can you play Angry Birds on it?

    Inquiring Minds want to know!

  15. Pahhh

    @Can you play Angry Birds on it?

    Had it running Joust, does that count?

  16. Grom_uk

    Remember it's for kids not for you wrinkly tinkerers

    The prime driving force for the R-Pi was to teach kids to program.

    Now it can tech kids to program for an OS that they have in thier pocket.

    Giving them real world experience.

    (Apart from the apple fan boys and girls who are too posh to write thier own code and just use what apple tell them to, LOL)

    1. Pahhh

      Re: Remember it's for kids not for you wrinkly tinkerers

      Ha ha.... the old, Apple wont let you put things on your device comment.....

      Which is fine if it wasnt patently untrue. I've got Apps (ok 1 App actually) that I've written myself and put on my phone and my iPad. It's not jailbroken either. Apple have never stopped you installing your apps on the phone.

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