Even if your smartphone doesn’t run Android 12 yet, you can now use Google’s latest mobile operating system on a Raspberry Pi 4, 400 or CM4 computer. Here’s my first look!
Created by renowned XDA member KonstaT (KonstaKANG), there’s now an unofficial LineageOS 19.0 build for Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, Raspberry P 400, and Raspberry P Compute Module 4 (CM4) computers, based on the Android 12 mobile operating system and, to my surprise, it runs quite well.
The image is distributed in the same format as any other Raspberry Pi operating system, which means that after you’ve downloaded the image (see direct download link at the end of the article), you’ll be able to easily write it on a microSD card with the official Raspberry Pi Imager utility or a similar tool.
There’s no initial setup of a Google account or anything, so once you boot the operating system from the microSD card, you’ll enter the desktop session immediately. There are two workspaces (home screens) available by default and you can easily customize widgets or the wallpaper by long-pressing the left mouse click anywhere on the home screen.
Connecting to Wi-Fi (both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz networks are supported) and Bluetooth is quite easy from settings. Once connected, they will be remembered after reboot and you can easily turn them on and off if you swipe down the screen from the top with the left mouse click. Further swiping down will reveal more quick settings.
Swiping up on the home screen will reveal all installed apps (Files, Calculator, Calendar, Contacts, Clock, Recorder, Gallery, Music, Browser, Camera), including the Settings app, from where you can set up your entire Android OS. Of course, you can even enable a dark mode, which looks really cool.
Web browsing works well too, and you can even play YouTube videos, but not in HD or FullHD formats, yet. The developer is still working on enabling hardware video decoding and encoding, but for now you’ll have to settle with hardware accelerated graphics (V3D, OpenGL and Vulkan), as well as software decoding and encoding.
What also works is support for touchscreens with multi-touch, including USB touchscreens and Waveshare SPI touchscreens. I don’t have a touchscreen, so I cannot confirm that it’s working. What I can confirm is that audio is working very well via bluetooth headsets, but it doesn’t work for me via the 3.5mm audio jack of the Raspberry Pi 4.
According to the developer, audio should work via HDMI, the 3.5mm audio jack, and Bluetooth. Audio DAC should also work using GPIO DACs e.g. Hifiberry DAC+, as well as USB microphones. Talking about Bluetooth, Bluetooth (and Wi-Fi) tethering also works and I was able to connect with my smartphone to my Raspberry Pi without effort.
Of course, you will be able to fully use a USB keyboard and mouse, as well as USB storage devices like flash drives or SSD and HDD disks. The built-in file manager is very useful for managing all of your files in case you want to make Android 12 your daily driver on the Raspberry Pi.
Other things there are supposed to work include GPIO, SPI, USB-C (ADB, MTP, PTP, USB tethering), GPS using an external USB module like U-Blox 7, Ethernet, HDMI display and HDMI-CEC, I2C IR remotes using an external GPIO IR module like TSOP4838, RTC using an external GPIO I2C module like DS3231.
Furthermore, sensors like accelerometer, gyroscope, humidity, magnetometer, pressure and temperature also works using an external GPIO I2C module like MPU6050, LSM6DS3, LSM303DLHC and BME280/BMP280, as well as serial console using an external GPIO serial console adapter like PL2303.
What currently doesn’t work is the Camera app, which crashes all the time, but the developer says that UVC USB webcams that support MJPEG format should work. Also, SELinux is currently set in permissive mode, which may or may not be an issue for you, and it doesn’t look like you can install additional apps even if Google Play services appears to be installed.
If you’re interested in running Android 12 on your Raspberry Pi 4, 400 or CM4 computer, you can download KonstaKANG’s unofficial Lineage 19.0 build right now from the ROM’s official thread on the XDA forums, which you should bookmark if you want to download future updates.
I’ve tested the first build on a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B computer with 4GB RAM. Please note that your Raspberry Pi needs to have at least 2GB of RAM to run this build, and you can only use it freely for personal or educational use, not for commercial use. Under the hood, this build runs Linux kernel 5.4 LTS.
Last updated 2 years ago