Asus has released a new version of their TinkerOS Android distribution for the Asus Tinker Board. It’s still powered by Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow running on a 3.10.0 kernel. But unlike the previous release, Android 18.104.22.168 is not classed as a beta release. The release seems pretty stable.
The TinkerOS Android release offers a few notable improvements including some handy bug fixes. The previous Android image produced fuzzy text on some HDMI monitors. The only way to obtain sharp text was to reset the HDMI resolution after each boot. This issue is fixed in the new release. The release also fixes a volume consistent issue in the setting and notification bar.
The real bugbear of the previous release was the lack of an easy method to install and maintain apps. Asus has sought to rectify the issue by providing ApkInstaller, an app dedicated to installing and managing apps. It’s a far cry from the convenience of the Google Play Store app though. But it’s still possible to install the Play Store app by following this guide.
Here’s a screenshot of Apkinstaller in action. It’s quite a basic app.
Personally, I recommend using the Google Play Store app. Asus is aware the community would love to see the app pre-installed, but there are a number of issues to resolve with Google.
The release also includes an Asus wallpaper. Enough said about that.
Overall, this is a fairly small but useful update. It’s worth a download. There’s still lots of room for improvement. Besides a pre-installed Google Play Store app, Asus need to implement system updates. This would avoid the arduous task of downloading the latest Android image, flashing it to the micro SD card, and then installing/configuring all the apps you want.