Developers who originally got Android running on Switch back in 2019 have reportedly now managed to port a new version of the operating system to Nintendo’s hybrid console, bringing with it a slew of new features and fixes.
“Now based off of Android 10 (LineageOS 17.1 with Shield TV trees) it’s faster, more responsive and has many new features over the previous release, including deep sleep and an Android TV build,” developer bylaws wrote over on the XDA forum last week (thanks Verge).
When homebrew artists first ported Android to hacked Switches it was the Android 8.1 Oreo version. Google only released Android version 11 last fall, so upgrading to version 10 so soon is a big deal, at least for that pool of Switch owners wanting to tinker with their hardware in ways not officially approved by Nintendo.
Notably, making your Switch run like other Android devices makes it possible to run premium, high tech apps like Netflix and Twitch, two things Nintendo still hasn’t gotten around to officially porting. And while still being tested, the newer version of Android on Switch adds better Bluetooth support and a “rewritten charger driver” to add support for USB-PD and third party charging docks. It also brings Nintendo’s device that much closer to being the ultimate emulation machine.
Of course, only people with the legacy version of Switch can do any of this. Nintendo designed a previously discovered exploit out of newer Switch models, as well as the Switch Lite. And even then people mod their hardware at their own risk. Still, it’s nice to see enthusiastic developers pushing us one step closer to the dream of a Switch that’s more like a normal computer.