Raspberry Pi 4 gets a taste of Android 11 via OmniROM
With the initial rush of developers trying to boot Android 11 on anything that’ll run it, the next big hitter to receive an unofficial port of the latest OS is the Raspberry Pi 4. Android 11 for the popular credit card-sized computer comes in the form of OmniROM, courtesy of XDA Senior Member maxwen. The list of broken features currently include screencast, Wi-Fi hotspot, and hardware accelerated video playback, making this an impressive first port of Android 11 for the widely loved device.
What makes this port rather impressive are the circumstances the Raspberry Pi 4 is in. Raspberry Pi OS (formerly called Raspbian), based on Debian Linux, is the official operating system for all models of this single board computer. While there exists Android Things support for an older version of the Raspberry Pi, there have been no low-level firmware implementation from the makers of the Pi to allow it to run on a regular version of Android. Developers have had to integrate open-source driver stacks from scratch, tinker with closed source blobs, and creating wrappers to piece it all together and thus enabling the device to function correctly. This is a very intensive process and requires a lot of skill and patience.
The ROM supports booting from a regular microSD card as well as an external USB storage media. The relevant parameter can be set in config.txt by enabling the needed overlay. Users who prefer a de-Googled experience can opt for the MicroG variant of the ROM, while the weekly builds are compatible with standard GApps packages.
Raspberry Pi SBCs are no stranger to the custom ROM scene, as modders have always tried to get some form of regular Android running on them. While installing Android on a Pi won’t give you the same experience as just buying an Android TV box outright, such a development does justify the “hacking-friendly” nature of the hardware platform.