Android-x86 project releases Android 9 Pie RC while Bliss OS releases Android 10 alpha build for PCs
Earlier this year in January, the Android-x86 project released the first stable version of Android 8.1 Oreo. For the unaware, Android-x86 is an open-source community project that aims to bring Android to PCs running on the x86 or x86-64 architectures. In the Oreo release, the team added plenty of new features, like the freeform window mode, to make Android run a little better on PCs. Since then, the team has been hard at work on the Android 9 Pie release and it has now rolled out the first Android 9 Pie release candidate (RC) build that you can run on a virtual machine or on your desktop.
As reported by Android Police, the build brings all the features Google introduced with Android 9 Pie, along with extended compatibility for desktop hardware. While the build offers an interface that’s close to stock Android, it does pack in additional features that are better suited for traditional input devices like a mouse and keyboard. These new features include an optional taskbar with a start menu and a recent apps tray that can be used as an alternative launcher. Here’s the full list of key features:
- Support both 64-bit and 32-bit kernel and userspace with latest LTS kernel 4.19.80.
- Support OpenGL ES 3.x hardware acceleration for Intel, AMD, Nvidia and QEMU(virgl) by Mesa 19.0.8.
- Support OpenGL ES 3.0 via SwiftShader for software rendering on unsupported GPU devices.
- Support hardware accelerated codecs on devices with Intel HD & G45 graphics family.
- Support secure booting from UEFI and installing to UEFI disk.
- A text based GUI installer.
- Add theme support to GRUB-EFI.
- Support Multi-touch, Audio, Wifi, Bluetooth, Sensors, Camera and Ethernet (DHCP only).
- Auto-mount external usb drive and sdcard.
- Add Taskbar as an alternative launcher which puts a start menu and recent apps tray on top of your screen and support freeform window mode.
- Enable ForceDefaultOrientation on devices without known sensors. Portrait apps can run in a landscape device without rotating the screen.
- Support arm arch apps via the native bridge mechanism. (Settings -> Android-x86 options)
- Support to upgrade from non-official releases.
- Add experimental Vulkan support for newer Intel and AMD GPUs. (Boot via Advanced options -> Vulkan support)
- Simulate WiFi adapter by Ethernet to increase app compatibility.
- Mouse integration support for VMs including VirtualBox, QEMU, VMware and Hyper-V.
If you want to test the latest Android-x86 Pie RC build for yourself, you can head over to the source linked below for instructions. You can also get prebuilt images from Fosshub or OSDN. Before you go ahead and install it on your system though, do check out the list of known issues below:
- Google Play Service may crash sometimes on the 32-bit image.
- Suspend and resume doesn’t work on some devices.
- Nvidia GPU (nouveau) may hang sometimes.
- 3D support of VMware is broken. (only non-accelerated mode works)
- Taking photos doesn’t work if Vulkan is enabled.
If you’re not interested in running Android 9 on your PC though and you’d much rather prefer running Android 10, then you’d be glad to know that Bliss OS has released an Android 10 alpha build for PCs. Bliss OS is essentially a fork of Android-x86 that offers extra features like taskbar integration for a better user experience on PC. However, it’s worth noting that the latest builds from Bliss OS are experimental and are not intended to be used as daily drivers. Nonetheless, it’s an interesting project for those of you who wish to run Android 10 on your PC. You can download the latest Android 10-based Bliss OS 12 builds by visiting the development thread on our forums linked below.
Via: Android Police