An unofficial Android port for the Nintendo Switch is reportedly very close to release, allowing you to trash your favourite (and only) hybrid console by converting it to run on Google’s Android, functioning not as a games console but as an Android tablet.
It’s the creation of developer Billy Laws, better known by his alias of ByLaws, part of a project undertaken by laws and developer Max Keller that led to them getting Android to work on a Nintendo Switch back in February of this year. Now, it’s starting to look like this will release for enthusiasts around the world very soon.
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The weirdest question is why you would want to do this as a consumer. the combination of the Nintendo Switch’s Tegra X1 chipset and 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM offers a fairly smooth performance, but in no way is it any sort of cheat-code to a smoother experience. 4GB of RAM for an Android tablet is a little on the low side, and the Tegra X1 chip is starting to show its age now, even the modified version tucked away inside the Switch.
A large part of the charm of the Nintendo Switch, for those of us that like to get geeky about hardware, is quite how much Nintendo managed to do for the hardware with system software optimisation.
But, if you absolutely must try out the latest weird trick for your device, there’s some facts to bear in mind: there’s no camera and no GPS chip, so certain apps won’t work on the device. Trying to launch apps like Pokemon Go, which requires both a camera and a GPS chip, won’t work at all, and there’s a bunch of other apps from Google’s Play Store that won’t work either.
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Joycons will work, for most games. However, they’ll act as if they are in wireless mode even when they’re connecting to the side of the tablet. Weirdly, connectivity is a perk. The Switch can still be docked as usual, and with the three USB ports embedded into the dock, you can connecft up a keyboard and mouse or even pump out Netflix to the big screen.
Finally, to make it all work, you will need an “exploitable Switch”, which is one of the models shipped before July 2018.
No specific word on when it will be available, except “soon” and I can categorically say I won’t be subjecting my own Nintendo Switch to the process.