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

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.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

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.

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