Android-x86 is an unofficial initiative to use Android on a PC, therefore porting the OS, which leads the mobile sector, to every PC that uses Intel or AMD x86 processors. This is a plausible option at least until Google considers to finally merge Android and Chrome OS into a single system that works both for phones and PCs. We think it is a matter of time.
If you have been following us, you already know that Android-x86 entered a partnership with Jide Technology (former Google employees) to develop the renowned Remix OS, an interesting project that was discontinued for mass consumption, putting Android for PC on hold. At least x86 versions are still being released and the project lives on. The latest move was the release of the first RC (Release Candidate) based on Android 8.1, the system’s latest version.
Once it is installed, you can use it the same way you use Android on a smartphone but this time on a PC using a mouse and keyboard. You can download and install apps and games from Google Play Store. You can also change the default launcher to get Android to look more like a PC OS.
Novelties on Android-x86 8.1
Like previous releases, Android 8.1 for PC is based on the code of Google’s Android Open Source Project (AOSP) for Oreo, the OS’ latest version. It offers 32-bit and 64-bit support.
One of the most outstanding novelties is Mesa 18.1.2, which offers support for OpenGL ES 3.x hardware acceleration for Intel’s integrated graphics, AMD’s Radeon and NVIDIA’s GTX graphics cards. Although not as remarkable, the latest release also offers native support for Vulkan, a last-gen platform to develop games and apps using 3D graphics. Vulkan is certainly DirectX 12’s biggest competitor. The project also offers support for OpenGL ES 2.0 via SwiftShader for software rendering on unsupported GPU devices.
Android-x86 8.1 also supports secure booting from UEFI and installing the OS on partitions based on UEFI and GPT. We can also find a text-based installer, and there is a possibility to automatically mount external USB drives and SD cards.
Android-x86 8.1 has improved the support for several hardware-related elements, multi-touch technology, audio, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, sensors, camera and Ethernet (DHCP only).
There is also an alternative launcher that puts a Start menu and apps tray on top of your screen. It also supports third-party launchers like Sentio Desktop, which tries to make Android look like a PC OS.
Android-x86 8.1 comes in 64-bit and 32-bit versions, and in .ISO and .RPM formats. The OS includes an auto-install option that makes it easier to quickly install Android on the first available partition in case you want to have it as your device’s only OS. You can also install it on any other system or run it on a virtual machine (WMware, Virtual Box, etc.), which is ideal to run tests without having to use your Windows or Linux computer.