The Nintendo Switch console is the console of the hacking scene most talked of the moment. With the various CFW, the emuMMC release even if in test phase, the console can be transformed into a real Tablet. on mobile devices with over 6 million users, the console via Roma has been transformed into a Tablet. With an article translated into Italian that you can read below, development is well underway , Android will be available for everyone in a few weeks / month users.
If you’ve followed the Nintendo Switch development scene lately, you’ve noticed that a lot of interesting things are happening right now. Between the launch of Ubuntu by L4T (Linux 4 Tegra) and ByLaws and the release of emuMMC for the Switch, there has never been a better time to own a Nintendo sWITCH (hackable). Now, ByLaws has taken over, as you can turn your Nintendo Switch into a true Android tablet complete with Joycon dock and support. Before the public release, we had the opportunity to test Android on Nintendo Switch to see what it can do.
How Android works on Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch was never meant to run Android. It is a portable game console with a 6.2-inch 720p display powered by the Tegra X1 chipset (also found in the NVIDIA SHIELD Android), 4 GB of LPDDR4 RAM and a 4.310 mAh battery. Manages games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey and Mario Kart 8: Deluxe. These specifications make for a fairly robust portable video game console, but imagine an Android tablet with these specifications? This is actually what we have here thanks to ByLaws and fellow developers, and although it is still not perfect, it is already quite powerful.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Switch is the fact that it is a hybrid console. When you put it in the Switch Dock and disconnect the controllers on the sides, it becomes a full-screen console with 1080p output via HDMI and higher CPU and GPU clock frequencies. When you’re done, just reconnect the controllers, remove Switch from the dock and use it anywhere. A similar idea was used by the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet, a tablet for Android games that can be played on a TV with a resolution of up to 8K. Android on Switch works the same way as on the NVIDIA SHIELD tablet. Connect your switch and the display will be transmitted via HDMI, where you can continue to use it normally on a larger screen. The Switch dock also has 3 USB ports to which you can connect a keyboard, a mouse and another peripheral. At the moment,
In addition, Android on the Nintendo Switch works just like a tablet.
Battery and media consumption
Generally, the main reason a user receives an Android tablet is for the media. A bigger and more beautiful screen is great for watching videos and playing games, and this is where the Switch comes into play. It has full support for all the apps on the Google Play Store, so you can watch Netflix, YouTube, listen to music … basically all the usual things you’d expect from an Android tablet. There are some knots to iron, of course, but none too serious. Think of this as the first LineageOS build for an Android smartphone: it’s not even remotely complete or polished.
If you are a media fanatic and like to have your files stored offline, then I have good news for you. Android for Nintendo Switch can have so much space for the SD card on which you entered it. This is because part of the configuration involves extending the / data partition to be the size you want before booting, so I expanded it to fill the rest of my 64GB micro SD card. This means that you are not limited to 32GB eMMC storage on the switch and, more importantly, you are not modifying anything on the device itself.
As can be expected from the Tegra X1, playing is child’s play. There are some lag here and there, although I expect them to be caused by the lack of optimization right now. I tried PUBG Mobile, for example, and while the Joycons didn’t work, the game ran well on balanced graphics. I used balanced because the game wouldn’t let me go any further, telling me that those options will come on my device “soon”.
The Joycons are something else, since at the moment they don’t work perfectly as you wouldn’t expect. They must be connected via Bluetooth, and leaving them physically connected to your Switch on the sides will still use them wirelessly. There are no strange input delay problems like the OnePlus 7 Pro. Technically, you can navigate the entire user interface of the system with them. However, not everything still supports the Joycons. I had problems with Dolphin Emulator and Steam Link when I tried them, even though they seem to have worked perfectly in a previous build. As a result, I’m sure they will work again on the way out.
There was an emulator that worked perfectly: DraStic. DraStic is one of the best Nintendo DS emulators on Google Play Store and works perfectly on the Switch. This is a huge achievement as there are no other DS emulators that work perfectly on it. I was able to play Pokemon Black only with my detached Joycons and my Switch connected via DraStic, which made the experience pleasant.
To emulate other game consoles, I recommend the use of RetroArch. I played Pokemon Leaf Green , and it worked with a single combined Joycon, although I had problems when I also paired the second one. Besides that, it worked well and worked perfectly. You don’t need the functionality of two Joycons to play Pokemon . The SNES emulation is fantastic, through Snes9x.
At the moment, there are performances throughout the system that I can only imagine and will be solved over time. The Tegra X1 on the switch is underclocked compared to the SHIELD TV, but the update of the switch 8.0 has allowed game developers to increase the clock speed when loading screens, something that the Android build also uses at release time ( clock control has been added in the latest private build). The Nintendo Switch is already shaping itself as an excellent Android-based gaming device, and the future in this regard is brilliant. I was also told that pretty much everything is functional, since it was entirely transferred from NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV. There should be full support for the SoC and all its capabilities.
What is not working
Unfortunately, there are a number of drawbacks to using the Nintendo Switch as an Android tablet. For example, the Switch does not support GPS nor does it have a microphone or a camera. This means that no Pokemon Go , no voice calls and video with Google Duoand no apps like Snapchat. You can use a Bluetooth headset for audio, even if you use basic A2DP for the connection. There are no LDAC or other more advanced Bluetooth codecs in use here. The Joycons are not yet compatible with all applications, and seem to be wildly inconsistent with what they work with and what they don’t. RetroArch has identified all four buttons on the left Joystick D to have the same functionality when they obviously don’t. Also, you cannot use the L and R buttons on the guide of each Joycon, which could be problematic when using only one. You can’t take screenshots yet.
We posted on the XDA-Developers Twitter account asking our readers what to test on the Nintendo Switch on Android. We had a series of requests to test different games and applications, which you can read above. They also asked us about Spotify (it works) and Fortnite (it doesn’t work).
Flappy Bird was also asked. I tried it . It works . Even YouTube, Spotify and Twitch work.
When will it be released?
ByLaws and others involved in the development of Nintendo Switch are working to prepare it for release. There will be a simple installer to use to configure your SD card, which is currently started via Hekate. There is no ETA, although you should check our Nintendo Switch forums and keep an eye on the Android thread on the Switch !