Developer ports Android 13 to the Raspberry Pi 4 B, Pi 400, and Compute Module 4
It was only a few days ago that Google pushed the stable Android 13 update to its Pixel phones and uploaded the source code for the release to AOSP, but a developer on XDA has already cooked up the first Android 13 custom ROM for the Raspberry Pi 4 single board computer and its derivatives.
XDA Senior Member KonstaT built a pure Android 13-based AOSP ROM for the popular credit card-sized computer. A major bonus here is that this build is also compatible with the Raspberry Pi 400, which is a portable ARM PC that is all contained within a mini keyboard form factor. It is even possible to boot the release on the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4, but you might need an additional carrier board to begin with.
Although it’s intended for advanced users, the Android 13 build appears to work pretty well with most features supported including:
- Audio (HDMI, 3.5mm jack, USB microphones, Bluetooth speakers/headphones, etc.)
- Audio DAC (using GPIO DACs e.g. HiFiBerry DAC+)
- Bluetooth (and Bluetooth tethering)
- Camera (using official Pi camera modules & UVC USB webcams)
- GPS (using external USB modules e.g. U-blox 7)
- Hardware accelerated graphics (V3D, OpenGL & Vulkan)
- HDMI display (and HDMI-CEC)
- IR remotes (using external GPIO IR modules e.g. TSOP4838)
- RTC (using external GPIO I2C modules e.g. DS3231)
- Sensors (using external GPIO I2C modules e.g. MPU6050, LSM6DS3, LSM303DLHC, BME280/BMP280, and APDS9930 accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, temperature, pressure, humidity, ambient light, and proximity)
- Serial console (using external GPIO serial console adapters e.g. PL2303)
- Touchscreen/multi-touch (official 7” touchscreen, USB touchscreens, Waveshare SPI touchscreens)
- USB (mouse, keyboard, storage, etc.)
- USB-C (ADB, MTP, PTP, USB tethering)
- Wi-Fi (and Wi-Fi tethering)
Installation is also easy. This port is available as a disk image so you can just boot it from a microSD card after restoring. You can also install subsequent updates through a specially crafted version of TWRP, though that process requires a couple of extra steps.
Keep in mind that this is quite different from running something like Android TV on a big screen — which is tailored to media consumption rather than active and regular interaction. As you would expect, the Android port for the Raspberry Pi 4 platform is not perfect in the traditional sense. The lack of hardware-backed video encoding and decoding mean you have to rely on software-based codecs with a noticeable performance penalty. Furthermore, many of the official Raspberry Pi camera accessories don’t work as they should. SElinux is in permissive mode as well.
While this is not exactly useful to most people out there, it might be a fun experiment to mess around with Android 13 if you have the Raspberry Pi 4 and are a fan of tinkering. Be sure to follow the ROM thread over on the forums to get started.