The Chromecast with Google TV gained its Android 12 upgrade last month. But funnily enough, your Raspberry Pi 4 can run an even newer version of Google’s smart TV software—Android TV 13. All you need is an unofficial port.
If you’re a big fan of the Raspberry Pi, these next few sentences may give you a sense of déjà vu. The Android 13 and Android TV 13 operating systems were ported to the Raspberry Pi 4 by KonstaT, a Senior Member of the XDA Developers forums. KonstaT regularly compiles new versions of Android for the Raspberry Pi, including the Android 12L port from earlier this year.
This new port leverages the LineageOS 20 codebase, which launched only a few months ago. As you may know, LineageOS brings new versions of Android to old and unsupported smartphones, though it’s regularly utilized for fun projects.
Now, should you use your Raspberry Pi as an Android TV 13 streaming stick? Probably not. As KonstaT explains, this port is only intended for advanced users, and certain features (such as hardware video decoding and encoding) aren’t functional yet. Plus, due to the DRM imposed by streaming services like Netflix, the Raspberry Pi’s version of Android TV 13 can’t always stream video in its highest quality.
If you’re interested in doing weird stuff with your Pi, you can find the Android TV 13 ROM and instructions at the XDA forums. Note that you need a Raspberry Pi 4 with at least 2GB of RAM (or a comparable Raspberry Pi 400).