The Nintendo Switch hides inside an Nvidia Tegra X1 processor, a slightly more advanced version of the Nvidia Shield processor. So it was a matter of time before some developer managed to install some version of Android on the console of the great N. And that moment has come. Nintendo's hybrid console can now run Android , opening up a world of possibilities for owners of the device. With the Google operating system they can install applications such as Netflix, YouTube, Spotify or Twitch. And, of course, Android games and emulators will be available.
In order to install Android on the Nintendo Switch , an unofficial LineageOS 15.1 port based on the Nvidia Shield TV versions has been used . This means that, in addition to being able to install Android apps, it is possible to run some exclusive Shield services, such as the Half-Life 2 game or the GeForce Now cloud game service.
According to the developers themselves, not everything works as it should. For example, the controllers are not detected correctly in applications such as Dolphin Emulator or the Steam Link streaming application. Of course, in most applications and games they work natively. It is even possible to attach the controllers to the console and connect a Bluetooth headset to them , something that Nintendo has not yet implemented.
It works, but with some limitations
Although the operation of Android on the Nintendo Switch seems quite stable, we must take into account some limitations. For example, the Joy-Con only connect via Bluetooth , so they will always be in wireless mode, even if they are physically connected to the screen.
There is no video DRM, so we will not be able to watch Netflix in high resolution . The Nintendo Switch does not have a camera, microphone, or GPS, so many applications that use these features will not be able to run . The USB ports do not allow external storage . Finally, the WiFi may stop working randomly (to regain the connection we must restart the console).
That said, installing Android on the Nintendo console is a risky operation . If we do not do all the steps correctly we can block the console. Furthermore, it is not clear if Nintendo has any way to detect this modification, which could end in a ban from the online service. Also, not all versions of the console can run the necessary bootloader.
The good thing is that, according to its developers, the installation of the Android system will not replace the original software of the console. That is, we can continue to use the Nintendo system and games. The new system will be saved on an SD card and, theoretically, we can switch between Android and the Nintendo operating system whenever we want.
Via | The Verge