Intel has to face Android update problems

Chipzilla is lagging when it comes to getting its microprocessors working with Android.

Intel researchers are apparently flat out trying to get their Atom chips to run on Google’s Jellybean but as yet it has not got a working version of the last version of Andriod.

Intel has been waving its Atoms about in developing countries hoping that they might attract a bit of interest from OEMs that want to make cheap and cheerful phones. So far it has managed to snag Lenovo, but the problem for Chipzilla is that the lower power x86 architecture does not play nice with Android Jelly Bean.

According to Gotta Be Mobile, Intel was not saying when the porting work will be finished.

Suzy Greenberg, a company spokeswoman, said that Intel was working closely with Google to enable future versions of Android, including Jelly Bean. Yeah right.

It is not as if Intel has not got older versions of Android to run before. Atom chipsets are used on the Lava smartphone, a device from wireless carrier Orange, and one from Lenovo for the Chinese market.

But these are using Android 2.3 Gingerbread which is looking a bit smelly. Intel thinks it should have a software update to bring those devices to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich but it has not managed the feat yet, or at least has not rolled out the patch. Jellybean is now far in the future.

This puts Intel’s partner Motorola in a tricky position. It wants to deploy smartphones and tablets on Intel architecture in the future, but at the same time releasing a tablet with Gingerbread will be the kiss of death.

Intel’s Clover Trail has also been ruled out as ending up on Android machines. Chipzilla seems to have promised that to Microsoft for Windows 8.

The Clover Trail platform will compete against ARM architecture as well as ARM will be used on Windows RT, a scaled down version of Windows 8.

It seems that while Intel wants the flexibility of having its Atoms run Android, it has so far not committed the time and resources to do it.  Feeble, really.