Intel ports Android Jelly Bean to x86 phones, but no rollout date set

Intel ports Android Jelly Bean to x86 phones, but no rollout date set

Summary: The company has reportedly got Android 4.1 working on its architecture, although it is unclear when those who have picked up handsets such as the Orange San Diego will get the upgrade.

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Android smartphones running Intel processors should soon be able to get upgraded to the 'Jelly Bean' version of the operating system.

Intel is a relative newcomer to the smartphone processor world, and its x86-architecture chips power only a few devices. Most smartphone processors use ARM's architecture, including those in the vast majority of Android phones.

Orange San Diego
The Orange San Diego is one of two Intel-powered phones in the UK. Image: Orange

At the moment, neither of the Intel-powered Android devices in the UK runs Android 4.1, the latest version that is also known as Jelly Bean, because Intel has to modify each version of the OS to run properly on its rarer system. The Orange San Diego runs Android 2.3, and the ZTE Grand X IN Android 4.0.

However, IDG reported on Wednesday that the porting of Jelly Bean was complete. The article states that multiple Intel employees at the company's IDF developer forum in San Francisco this week are running that version.

It remains a mystery as to when that version will be offered as an upgrade to those who own Intel-based Android phones. Generally, such upgrades need to be further customised by the operator that sells the handset, before the customer can get it.

The chip inside these phones is called Medfield — it is only a single-core processor, but a dual-core version will apparently come out later this year.

Those running Android on Intel rather than ARM may find that a very small number of apps don't work. Earlier this year, Intel promised 90-percent full compatibility for apps.

Topics: Android, Intel, Smartphones

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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7 comments
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  • Does Anybody Care?

    x86 hasn’t been a big seller in the mobile space to date.

    Maybe Microsoft should port Windows Phone to x86. The two seem made for each other.
    ldo17
    • Windows (except RT) are made for Intel

      The reverse is not true however.
      Gongchuo Lu
  • YES!

    Does that mean we can install windows on the phone?
    daves@...
  • "AndTel", will be as successful as webOS was.

    Android on Intel is an idea who's time has never come, especially with Windows 8 for smartphones in the near horizon.
    adornoe
  • yo David, come on... Time for a new headshot...

    Mr. superglaze, you look a little glazed over in your picture, workless, get some sleep. You might live 3 or 4 years longer. The body repairs itself while you sleep, less sleep=less life. Talk to anyone who works in a retirement home, once the elderly stop sleeping at night they go on red watch and keep tabs on them a lot more often, becuase they know they're about to pass on...

    and I for one am glad you wrote the article, I am keeping an eye on Android on Intel, there is some good promise there, but not going to be an easy market to break in to, unless Intel starts offering something like "first 5 years, chips at cost! when you sign a 10 year contract to use our chips in your phone."
    aiellenon
  • Nice Article

    Great work......Also have seen nice article on http://techinlead.com/top-5-features-of-android-4-1-jelly-bean/
    S J
  • Intel confusion?

    Intel and AMD are both now making their latest x86 mobile chips Windows only. As if what software we run on the chips was any of their business.

    And with that any warm feelings I might have had for Tizen, Android on Intel, or whatever, come suddenly to an end. I wanted Android on Intel phones and tablets right up until then, and now I don't. These guys can take their "Wintel" monopoly and stuff it. The mobile world does not need to go back into that cage.
    symbolset