today I would like to share some interesting facts about Android on a Acer Iconia Tab W500P. I happen to have access to such a Tab today. On this Tab there is Windows 7 installed by default. Hmm, and Windows 7 is not a operation system optimized for touch input, in my opinion.
So I did a little research on how to get Android running on this tab.
The Iconia Tab is based on the following hardware:
– a AMD Dual-Core Processor C-60,
– has 2GB RAM :),
– a 32GB SSD harddisk,
– a 10,1″ LED LCD screen
– WiFi 802.11 b/g/n 🙂
– Bluetooth 3.0 + HS
Quite a nice piece of hardware, but not very usable with Windows.
Since it is not my own Tab, I cannot format the hard disk and install Android, therefor I am using a Live distribution. I knew there is a port of Andorid to the x86 platform (http://www.android-x86.org)
I downloaded the latest version they offer in the download section (Android 4.2 20130228) as iso file to my Linux laptop.
Link to the iso: https://android-x86.googlecode.com/files/android-x86-4.2-20130228.iso
Then I install unetbootin on my laptop, a tool to create bootable USB Sticks from a given iso image file: sudo apt-get install unetbootin
The USB stick I am using is a 8GB Stick I had at hand. I reformatted it to FAT32 and plugged it into my Linux laptop. Then I started unetbootin, selected the downloaded Android ISO file and the USB drive as target.
Next, I had the problem: How to boot the Iconia W500 Tab from an USB stick?? Since the Tab came without the optional docking station, with included keyboard, I used my wireless Keyboard of my stationary PC.
In order to access the BIOS of the Iconia to change the boot sequence do the following:
- Switch of the Tab
- Wait some seconds
- attach a USB keyboard (you need the F2 button!)
- Press the Power switch and the Windows Button at the same time (Info found here)
- While booting you should see a white cursor blinking on the top left corner. NOW press F2 on the plugged in keyboard and you get access to the BIOS.
- Change here the boot sequence so that the Tab can boot from USB Mass storage devices
- Plug in the USB stick with the prepared Android installation
- reboot the Iconia Tab and select Android Live in the displayed boot manager
- wait for the Android to boot up 🙂
Here you go … now you have to set up the Andorid system as on every phone.
! Keep the USB Keyboard plugged in during setup, otherwise you don’t have a possibility to enter characters and numbers
Once the Android system is up, switch to Settings and find “Language & Input”. Select the Keyboard option and switch off the physical keyboard in order to get the Android internal on screen keyboard shown when entering text to fields 🙂
Congratulations, now you have a really touch optimized operation system running on your Acer Iconia Tab W500P 🙂
Ok, now that Android is running, I gave several apps a try. The two cameras (front & rear) work out of the box. See two images here:
Bluetooth doesn’t seem to work, at least I was not able to activate it directly in the system menu … GPS obviously also doesn’t, since no GPS receiver is installed in the Tab.
Another problem seems to be, the display cannot be switch to standby as it is common on other Android tabs, to save battery.
The available buttons are mapped:
- Sound: works as expected: Volume up and down
- Windows key: no function
- Power button: switch of the Tab, as expected (asks for confirmation)
- Look button: switch of the Android display rotation
I hope that was useful for someone, I had fun playing around with it.