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Android for Orange Pi Plus 2E - An under-baked robot in need of attention

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Post time 2016-6-13 16:24:12 | Show all posts |Read mode
Edited by TheLinuxBug at 2016-6-14 12:51

Hello All,

Hate to be so negative on my first post, but it needs to be said.

I bought the Orange Pi Plus 2E with some real excitment in my heart. I was ready for what I thought would be a really awesome platform for a Android + Kodi media center along with Google Play and all with decent wifi and a quadcore with 16Gb eMMc.  The little machine is a champ, but the Android version provided on the eMMc from factory is unusable (ok, you can do the basic stuff, but c'mon).

I wanted it to be awesome.  I gave it tons of patience.  Unfortunately there is a long list of extremely annoying issues:
1. The kernel compiled for this image has some type of security enabled in it (if this is supposed to be for developers and people learning, why would you enable this?)
2. Because of #1, you can not remount /system as read/write its denied by the kernel.
3. all mounted volumes are set nosuid (so even if you chmod 4755 su, you still can't obtain root)
4. Lets say you take the time to find the app to enable USB OTG and the needed drivers to access it from your computer (in this thread) this is almost useless for helping to get root.
5. adb while it does provide root access via adb and allow you to remount /system in adb, again all volumes are nosuid and/or noexec so trying to actually root the device is pointless.
6. Because of all of the above, and because of some decisions by the person who put it together it is entirely impossible to install Google Play Store (GAPPS) on it.
7. Because you can not install Google Play, you are restricted to using hacked/ripped versions of the free apps provided in app stores like Aptoide and can't side load any legit paid apps because the require to be able to verify the license through Google.
8. You are restricted to an older version of Kodi (15) because its not provided by free app stores.
9. The Android experience its self is total crap as well, the launcher provided doesn't even provide home, back, volumes and power buttons.  God forbid you put it in a case that doesn't allow access to the power button or the only way you can shut it down is to pull the power (As you can't get root there is no way to install a shutdown app).
10. The KODI app provded is locked to 720p (1280x720) so it isn't even possible to get full 1080p out of Kodi

I could go on, but the bottom line is this is the most abysmal Android distribution I have used among many SBCs I have used/owned.

I am honestly curious why such a crappy piece of software would even be released with a product?  Makes an otherwise awesome board completly useless for Android.

Other than ths standard "Learn to compile your own and build your own kernel, etc" responses I am curious to know if Xunlong intends to actually produce a usable image for its customers?

Does anyone have an image they have built that works and doesn't suffer from the many issues listed above?  Please share and I will be eternally grateful.

I look forward to some feedback and other peoples feelings about the Android release put out for this board, so lets hear it!

Edit: Just wanted to mention one thing, the 'rootmydevice' hack does work on this device and you can obtain temp root in that method ( echo "rootmydevice" > /proc/sunxi_debug/sunxi_debug ) but this proves to be almost useless as you can't actually run any apps as root and most functions like mount are restricted by the kernel and even with "root" you can't view /data (you can in adb though).

Edit2: Wanted to mention another issue I ran into.  It seems tha the DRAM timing is set to 672 in the Android image.  For most cases (if you use the kodi restricted to 720p for example) you will not notice it (or if you have more than ample cooling possibly) but I ran the CPU+GPU stability test and after a max passes of about 30, with the minimum being 2, the machine freezes up. If you install MX Player and run a 1080p video you can end up locking up the machine the same as the stability test.  Using this as a reference, I believe there should be an ability to change the DRAM setting to either 600 or 648 to help stabilize the machine (one of the many things I would hope would go into a new Android image).

Cheers!







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 Author| Post time 2016-6-23 22:19:29 | Show all posts
Edited by TheLinuxBug at 2016-6-23 22:21

I just wanted to add a quick update here -- it is possible to run Kodi 16.1 Jarvis on this machine, you just have to download it directly from Kodi on their website. However, it is still locked to 720p it seems by the included drivers (1280x720@60Hz).  The android driver it's self support 1080p60Hz without an issue and it is possible to run video at full 1080p using MX Player, but it seems Kodi does not support this.

I am still having issues with the system rebooting its self because of the DRAM timing though, anytime you give video too much stress it just reboots the whole board.  If nothing else it would be awesome to have some type of utility that allowed changing of the DRAM timing to 648 or 600 to bring more stability to the board.

Kinda a shame no one else has taken the time to post here, was really hoping for some additional feedback on this.  Eventually if I get the time I may try to create an image with the correct DRAM timing but all the documentation I have found for doing such looks to be for an SDcard and not the eMMc and looks to be far from simple.

Would be awesome if someone with a bit more Android experience would be willing to help get a better image put together.  I am more than happy to offer some time to test and possibly even a bounty if it turns out to be extremely time consuming.  Would be awesome to have a fully working and productive Android setup on this board!

my 2 cents.

Cheers!

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Post time 2016-6-24 00:40:39 | Show all posts
I need     Lubuntu_1404_For_OrangePi_Plus2E_v0_8_0.img.xz
link is broke
thanks

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Post time 2016-7-13 10:51:18 | Show all posts
Hey guys,
I'am facing problems to install GAPPS. It seems impossible conect to google server after install the packages.

Can't find openelec rom for this hardware.

Cheers

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 Author| Post time 2016-7-14 11:23:53 | Show all posts
LinuxFreak replied at 2016-7-13 10:51
Hey guys,
I'am facing problems to install GAPPS. It seems impossible conect to google server after i ...

As I tried to elude to in my above complaint, the Xunlong team used the locked down kernel from the SDK which specifically is set to not allow you to remount /system as read/write which is needed to root the device and be able to install GAPPS correctly.

So, unfortunately you are stuck with Aptiode as app store for now until someone releases a better Android image for this board.

Cheers!

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Post time 2016-7-15 02:55:44 | Show all posts
TheLinuxBug replied at 2016-7-14 11:23
As I tried to elude to in my above complaint, the Xunlong team used the locked down kernel from th ...

Hye BUG,
Got it,  but I tried to make the installation booting with Armbian S.O. and copying the files from the opengaaps packcage directly in the android file system, however , the connection to Google's servers does not work because of a certificate issue.
Cheers.

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 Author| Post time 2016-9-12 15:05:40 | Show all posts
I like how people don't read this thread cause it got sank and keep making new Android related forum posts.  Maybe if people provided more feedback in one central post it would be a bit better and we could actually push Xunlong to do something useful?!

Cheers!

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Post time 2016-9-12 23:57:31 | Show all posts

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Post time 2016-12-10 06:19:31 | Show all posts
I got my Plus 2E switched to English, and that also switched to a totally different launcher. NOTHING on the home screen works. A bunch of icons for things like Hulu, Skype, Netflix, Facebook etc. They do nothing. It will play some video files by going to the file manager.

What's needed is an Android image with Google Apps installed and the USB OTG enabled so it can be connected to a Mac or PC like a phone for transferring files. As it is, connect it and NOTHING happens. A computer will not recognize that the OPi has been plugged in. It needs this fully functional so USB screen mirroring apps will work, VYSOR is the best of them, it enables full remote control and interation, just like having a mouse plugged into a phone with a USB OTG adapter. With USB debugging on the Google Chrome app or the Mac or Windows app can push the VYSOR app to Android. A real lifesaver when your phone does a faceplant and destroys the display and digitizer. (Be prepared! Install VYSOR or always enable USB debugging *before* you break your phone!)

I figured out that using the touchpad on my Logitech wireless keyboard I had to hold the left button and drag to scroll down to find the language setting. Had to go through that *many* times because it has touchpad tapping enabled and it's hyper sensitive. So a better Android image should include a setting to shut that $^^# feature off to only use mouse buttons.

I also got Ethernet turned on. WTH is that not on by default? It has USB debugging and apps from unknown sources enabled.

Another thing it needs is a lot more video resolutions so it will work with DVI monitors that don't support typical HDMI TV resolutions. I have a 1280x1024 monitor I'd like to use my Plus 2E with but even with a HDMI to DVI and audio splitter box it doesn't work because the monitor doesn't do any of the available resolutions.

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 Author| Post time 2017-5-4 06:22:08 | Show all posts
Edited by TheLinuxBug at 2017-5-4 06:39

Hello All!

It is with great joy that I follow-up this thread with information about an awesome project that a small team of guys have been working on for the benefit of the Orange Pi H3 device community!

May we present to you...



The best part?  It is FREE!  


The only thing we ask for is feedback and once things are a bit more stable we may be looking for some donations to fund further updates and fixes to the project.


Please make sure to read through our F.A.Q. and review the notes on our download page before installation for the best results and to set appropriate expectations for this image!


We welcome any feedback you may have either in this thread or through the e-mail form on our page!


Thanks in advance for trying our image and any feedback you can provide!


Cheers!

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