Intel Toys with Android Jelly Bean OS on Medfield-Powered Smartphones

Porting Android updates over to Intel-powered smartphones takes a bit more work than slapping the operating system on an ARM CPU, but Intel’s desire to make major inroads in the mobile market seems to have lit a fire under Chipzilla’s rear end; at IDF San Francisco, Intel mobile manager Mike Bell announced that his team has already coaxed Android Jelly Bean 4.1 into working on the company’s Medfield processor.

“I’m running it,” Bell said during an interview, PCWorld reports. Several other Intel employees are as well — but that doesn’t mean you should expect to see Jelly Bean on a Medfield-powered handset in the wild anytime soon.

Pushing out Android updates isn’t a cut-and-dry process, Bell explained. “We can’t put it on the phones. We have to give it to the carriers to put on the phones and they go through acceptance testing.” The phone makers themselves also have to sign off on the upgrades.

As Jelly Bean-less Verizon Wireless Galaxy Nexus owners can attest, acceptance testing can sometimes be a very slow process, indeed.

Intel is still a relative newcomer in the ARM-dominated smartphone arena, but the company has already inked a deal to bring its processors to Motorola’s mobile devices. The first fruit from that partnership is expected to be unveiled next week, and a Motorola spokesman has already confirmed that the British version of the Editors’ Choice-winning Droid Razr M will include an Intel chip.

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