Raspberry Pi 3 official Android support could bring cheap big-screen e-reading

raspberry-pi-3-640x427.jpgFans of the Raspberry Pi 3, that delightful little mini-computer that Chris Meadows has written up so affectionately, will be heartened to hear that Android is now making The Fruity Little Computy That Could into an officially supported Android device. The Android Open Source Project (AOSP) has now created a repository (so far empty) for the Raspberry Pi 3. As written up in Android Police and elsewhere, this could mean a full-blown Android OS iteration for the mini PC. Or it could simply mean support for linking Android devices. With no indication when any code will actually debut, so far we don’t know.

If we do get a full version of Android running on the Pi 3, though, that could be interesting. Right now I’m running a version of the Chromium OS on my Pi 2, which basically converts my Raspberry into a mini Chromebox. And now we have talk of Android/Chrome convergence with the Google Play Store opening up to support Chrome devices. It’s not hard to anticipate that all your favorite ebook reading apps for Android and Chrome might soon be running on a Raspberry for big-screen display in home or classroom alike.

The post Raspberry Pi 3 official Android support could bring cheap big-screen e-reading appeared first on TeleRead News: E-books, publishing, tech and beyond.


Original URL: http://teleread.com/raspberry-pi-3-official-android-support-bring-cheap-big-screen-e-reading/

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Google announces ebook, other Android apps on Chromebooks soon

Google Play store ChromebookAnother very interesting announcement out of Google I/0 2016 is definitive confirmation that Android apps will be “Coming to a Chromebook near you.” As quoted by 9to5 Google, the Google session statement says: “Today we announced that we’re adding the best mobile app experiences in the world, Android apps and the Google Play store, to the best browser in the world, Chrome! Come to this session and test your Android apps for Chrome OS. You will get hands on help from our friendly engineers on how to optimize your Android app for Chromebooks.”

This certainly isn’t the first time that this possibility has surfaced. Already a month ago rumors via Reddit were pointing towards full implementation of the Google Play Store on Chrome OS, with a pretty impressive screen grab (see above). But now apparently it’s official – well, as good as. And the many Chromebook users, both teachers and students, in the education sector, as well as those who just like a good cheap laptop, can look forward to expanding on the current pretty limited Chrome OS selection of ebook reading apps – including “Amazon’s Kindle Cloud Reader (the Chrome flavor) … Readium and dotEPUB and Cloud ePub Reader with Drive” or “the Google Books reader.” Bookari for Chrome, anyone? FBReader? Moon? All that could be just around the corner, to the delight of many.

The post Google announces ebook, other Android apps on Chromebooks soon appeared first on TeleRead News: E-books, publishing, tech and beyond.


Original URL: http://www.teleread.com/google-announces-ebook-android-apps-chromebooks-soon/

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How I turned my Raspberry Pi into a Chromebox

IMG_20160430_181119TeleRead readers will recall that I posted details of a new hack for the Raspberry Pi 2 and Pi 3 for Chromebook-using teachers and students, turning the ultra-cheap minicomputer into a Chromebox. With my own Raspberry Pi 2 lying idle at home, I decided to try this myself: and here are the results.

Installation of the new OS was as easy as expected. l unpacked the downloaded file with 7-zip and wrote it onto the Raspberry’s micro SD card with Win32diskimager; with this done, I set up my Raspberry with mouse, keyboard, HDMI cable and Ethernet plugged in, then powered it up from the monitor’s USB port. It started up first time with no problems.

How well does it work though? Startup is slow, but no slower than many Linux OS versions running on the Raspberry Pi 2. The display looks fine across a big screen, and with a Bluetooth USB adapter plugged in, the device can work fine with wireless mouse and keyboard. For web browsing, document editing on Google Docs, audio playback on YouTube, email composition on Gmail, and even Facebook, it should be enough. However, video playback is clunky and often plain inadequate, and the thing often locks up on complex web pages like Twitter. The Raspberry Chromebox does record most account settings for restart, but wifi doesn’t work, at least with the USB adapters I have – a known issue that may get fixed later.

How useful is it? For general purpose computing on the Raspberry Pi 2, it’s faster and more user-friendly than the Linux versions I’ve run on this device. I plan to use it for text editing and browsing, and am already listening to audiobooks on it. It may not be good for much more, but you get what you pay for, and with the Raspberry Pi 2, you’re paying almost nothing.

The post How I turned my Raspberry Pi into a Chromebox appeared first on TeleRead News: E-books, publishing, tech and beyond.


Original URL: http://www.teleread.com/turned-raspberry-pi-chromebox/

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Teachers! Chromebook e-readers! Want to make a $35 Raspberry Pi Chromebox?

Chromium RaspberryHere at TeleRead, we’ve rehashed the education dominance of Chromebooks for schools and students across the U.S. so often it hardly needs repeating. And one of the main draws with these devices is their price. But for those who still balk at the even the super-cheap cost of a Chromebook, here’s one way to go even better: Install the Chromium OS on the $35 Raspberry Pi 2.

The friendly Raspberry Pi 2 usually runs a slew of Linux distributions, including its own Raspian flavor, as well as various versions of Ubuntu. However, I know from experience that its performance isn’t exactly stellar on these. Furthermore, Linux is not always a tremendously friendly OS for noobs, even in its Ubuntu variants. The Chrome OS, or its Chromium OS open source version, though, is well rated for supreme user-friendliness, and is already familiar to many school-age users. And the Chromium OS for Single-Board Computers project now offers a downloadable install of Google’s homegrown OS for Raspberry Pi 2.

Installation is a cinch. First, download the OS – though this is a 325MB file, so you might want to get on a good/free connection. Then unzip it, and write it to a micro SD card using an image writer program. As any Raspberry user will tell you, the Raspberry Pi 2 runs its OS straight from the micro SD card, so in principle, once the Chromium OS is on the card, you’re ready to go. Do note that WiFi support is still not predictable and consistent for all WiFi adapters, but for anyone who can connect to the internet through the Raspberry Pi 2’s Ethernet socket, it should still work fine.

The Raspberry Pi 2 has HDMI and audio output, as well as more than enough USB sockets for peripherals, so you can now run Chromium OS over a desktop display. I’ve yet to try this hands-on myself, but plan to ASAP. Because who wouldn’t want this, at this price? There are plenty of e-reading options for Chrome OS – see here. And David Rothman has already gone through all the reasons, and ways, you would want to run Chrome OS on your ageing PCs. Now you can do the same on new hardware at a price so minuscule it hardly even registers. Even Asus’s Chromebit now looks overpriced in comparison at $85. Apparently the project project will run on the even more wonderful Raspberry Pi 3 – one can only hope it turns out as good on there too.

The post Teachers! Chromebook e-readers! Want to make a $35 Raspberry Pi Chromebox? appeared first on TeleRead News: E-books, publishing, tech and beyond.


Original URL: http://www.teleread.com/teachers-chromebook-e-readers-want-make-35-raspberry-pi-chromebox/

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