OmniROM was an incredibly popular custom ROM back then, and you might be surprised to know that it’s still in development. The project is once again making headlines for a new port of Max Weninger (maxwen), which brings the software to the Raspberry Pi 4.
Even though the Raspberry Pi uses the same ARM architecture as most Android devices, porting Android to the Pi has always been a tricky process, mostly due to missing drivers. There have been a few different attempts to bring Android to various Pi models over the years, but the new OmniROM port appears to be one of the more polished versions to date. It’s based on Android 11 and is designed exclusively for the Raspberry Pi 4 – those of you with older models will have to stick with other operating systems, at least for now.
The ROM is running Android in tablet mode and not as an Android TV device. It’s probably a better fit for the Pi, which is typically used as a productivity / learning PC, although it would be interesting to see an alternate version of Android TV at some point. Weninger noted in a forum response: “I really don’t think a raspi is a well-equipped device to use for mountain biking when you [can get an] Xiaomi USB ATV stick for example for around 40E which simply works without problems and has official Google support.
The forum thread for ROM indicates that hardware accelerated video playback is currently missing and that Mesa’s support for 3D graphics is in progress. Android generally does not perform well when booting from slow storage like SD cards, but ROM fortunately supports running from USB or SD. Weekly versions also work with Gapps packages, so you can use the Play Store.
If you want to learn more or download the ROM for your own Raspberry Pi, check out the source link below.
Photo credit: Adafruit