How to build Android firmware for GameShell?

Is it possible to build an android 4.4 or even higher firmware for gameshell, using the AOSP source code? Anyone interested?


What would you do with an Android OS with a 320x240 screen?


I think android is perfect for retro gaming

One of the better “apps” to play retro games for android is retroarch.
It’s just been released officially on Steam as well, proving to be a formidable retro gaming all in one solution for the desktop computer.

This is the same core integration application used on the Gameshell, and frequently used by Raspberry Pi users.

The majority of the good retro games on Android are generally ports of existing SNES games, Eg Chrono trigger, Final Fantasy I-IX, Secret of Mana etc. You can play them in their original form using the emulators that run on the Gameshell.

The good news is, the best retro gaming app is already installed on the stock clockwork OS image. Was there anything in particular you were thinking of running with Android OS that doesn’t use a touchscreen?

Android is much easier for users to install apps/emulators as well as add roms for different games. Meanwhile, as an open source handheld console, more and more users can modify the android firmware to be perfect. For now, I feel the Linux-based system is not very easy to use.

btw: Is it a better thing to have if the users have another OS option?

Given the nature of Android, a lack of a touchscreen and as @Godzil mentioned, minimal resolution would make it very difficult to use.

From Wikipedia:

The Gameshell is running Debian, simply using a custom launcher. There is an alternative launcher called “bean” included in the utilities folder of the latest clockwork OS.

You can even consider Retroarch to be an alternative launcher.

Loading others would be possible, but you would be hard pressed to have much support, unless it is deemed a popular choice.

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The interface on teh gameshell is clearly far from perfect. On the other hand, even is android can run on the gameshell (the SoC used is meant for android devices at first) that does not mean it would be well suited for a device like the gameshell. The CPI itselg with HDMI and some USB input maybe a different story, but the gameshell itself it would more be a waste of disk space and a waste of resources in general for something that would solve nearly nothing.

Having multiples linux flavours for teh gameshell, definitely yes.
Does Android would run on the gameshell, definitely yes
Does Android would be useable, I think no.
Making a better linux distro for the gameshell? Definitely possible

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Given the screen would need to be substituted with something with a higher resolution and a capacitative touch interface, a higher capacity battery to drive the unit, and thus an alternative housing would detract from the form factor of the Gameshell.

Not to cross promote an alternative product, but the Raspberry Pi might be more to your liking, with people having made android ports to the system, along with many other Linux distributions.

For retro gamers only, I think the keypad is perfect to control the Android system even without the touch screen, let alone the lightkey that can be used for more Android-style control. So I think at least Android should be released as another option for this board. Users need more options.

Possibly unofficially! They were working on a non python based “Launcher Go” a while back, but that’s seemingly taken a back seat, as the crew have been working on getting the primary launcher and OS’s kinks ironed out.

There would be a public uproar if they devoted their limited resources to something else, before getting their main release complete. It’s still only version 0.4; not even 1.0.

In other news, supposedly there is a touch screen free version of Android OS in the works, but that’s for simple low end phones without touch screen. If would just be for simple use like YouTube viewing and the likes.

For now, look into any existing android installations on a raspberry pi. You could probably reverse engineer it, and get it running. It’s an open source community where people help one another. You could be the person to bring Android OS to the Gameshell.

(Doing a quick search on the forums, looks like you’re the first person to think of putting android on the Gameshell! :))

Yes, building the kernel from the Android 6.0 source code is possible for GameShell. But it needs a lot of work to do. Hope someone can finish that before me :slight_smile:

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