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Android

A Psion Palmtop Successor Has Arrived and It Runs Android and Linux

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Android
Linux
Gadgets

A lot of people probably remember the 1990s palmtop computers made by Psion fondly. The clamshell-design palmtops were pocketable, black and white, but had a working stylus and a fantastic tactile foldout QWERTY keyboard that you could type pretty substantial documents on or even write code with. A different company -- Planet Computers -- has now produced a spiritual successor to the old Psion palmtops called the Gemini PDA that is much like an old Psion but with the latest Android smartphone hardware in it and a virtually identical tactile keyboard. It can also dual boot to Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Sailfish) alongside Android. The technical specs are a MediaTek deca-core processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage (plus microSD slot), 4G, 802.11c Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, eSIM support, and 4,220mAh battery. The screen measures in at 5.99-inches with a 2,160 x 1,080 (403ppi) resolution. The only thing missing seems to be the stylus -- but perhaps that would have complicated manufacturing of this niche-device in its first production run.

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Eensy-weensy i.MX8M Mini module also powers SBC

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Android
Linux

CompuLab’s Linux-driven, 38 x 28mm “UCM-iMX8M-Mini” module features an i.MX8M Mini, WiFi/BT, and up to 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC. The COM also ships on a sandwich-style “SBC-iMX8M-Mini” SBC.

CompuLab unveiled a Linux-driven computer-on-module with NXP’s new i.MX8M Mini SoC. At 38 x 28 x 4mm, the UCM-iMX8M-Mini is considerably smaller than CompuLab’s i.MX8M-based, 68 x 42mm CL-SOM-iMX. The module is also smaller than the two other Mini-based COMs we’ve seen so far: F&S Elektronik Systeme’s 40 x 35mm PicoCore MX8MM and Variscite’s 55 x 30mm DART-MX8M-Mini.

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Android Leftovers

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Android

A developer is working on turning a Nintendo Switch into an Android tablet

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Android
Linux
Gadgets

The Nintendo Switch is Nintendo’s latest console/handheld, and it’s doing really well for itself in terms of sales and appeal. It also marks a change in attitude from Nintendo as well, as the device is not only powered by an Nvidia Tegra system-on-chip, but the company even reportedly wanted to employ the now-defunct Cyanogen Inc. to develop their operating system. Since the discovery of the Fusée Gelée vulnerability, Switch modding has really taken off in the community. Users have theorized for a long time now whether it would be possible to port Android to the Switch. After all, Linux has been ported to it and the device uses the Tegra X1 SoC for which there is documentation to refer to. All that’s left is the blood, sweat, and tears of developers interested enough in porting Android. One developer by the name of ByLaws is taking the challenge of turning a Nintendo Switch into an Android tablet.

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i.MX8M Mini based handheld dev kit has dual Linux BSPs

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Android
Linux
Hardware

Solectrix is prepping an “SX Mobile Device Kit” for developing handhelds with Debian and Yocto Linux BSPs, an i.MX8M Mini SoC, an optional 5-inch touchscreen, WiFi, BT, GNSS, and mini-PCIe, and features for prototyping CSI-2 camera sensors.

These days we rarely cover mobile computers, most of which are rugged field-service handhelds that run Android, such as Two Technologies’ N5Print. Yet, Solectrix’s SX Mobile Device Kit (MDK) seemed of particular interest since it’s a development kit with Linux BSPs and NXP’s new i.MX8M Mini SoC.

In addition, a Solectrix GmbH rep informed us that optional features like GbE and USB Type-A host and GbE ports enable the MDK to be used as a general-purpose embedded development board. Purchase options range from buying the 125 x 78mm PCB by itself all the way up to a fully equipped handheld with a 5-inch screen. Yocto Project and Debian Linux BSPs are available, and the board also supports Android 9 Pie.

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Also: i.MX8M and Snapdragon 820E SBCs run Linux and Android

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