I will be speaking at the Android Builder's Summit 2014 and Embedded Linux Conference 2014 this year. Both are held in San Jose between 29th April and 1st May.
This blog post describes how to use vanilla AOSP Jelly Bean 4.3 source to build and run Android on the BeagleBone Black development board. All components are built from source (well, nearly all: the GPU drivers contain some binary blobs).
For those people who attended my lectures at the Embedded Live in Earl's Court, London this week, and for anyone else who is interested, here are my slides.
Android is an interesting platform for embedded devices of many types, not just phones. There are ports for various development boards, including the Beagleboard. To get an idea of how easy it is to implement on a new platform, I ported it to the Digi Wi-i.MX51 Jumpstart board which I reviewed earlier (see http://www.embedded-linux.co.uk/hardware/ccwi.imx51). I will post full details to Inner Penguin later. In this article I just want to show the end result.
Android was developed initially as an operating system for smartphones, but now it is popping up in other devices such as netbooks, sat nav and ereaders, not to mention development boards like the ubiquitous Beagleboard. So, why would you choose Android over any other version of embedded Linux? I think it comes down to critical mass. Android is a known quantity, promoted by a well-known and wealthy organisation which creates a standard platform where non existed before. Whereas each implementation of Linux on an embedded device is (more or less) unique, implementations of Android are going to be (more or less) the same.