Google announces Android flash tool for browsers

Google has unveiled the Android Flash Tool, a tool that makes it relatively easy for developers, for example, to try an Android Open Source Project build. Installing an AOSP build is done directly from the browser with this tool.

Google writes that the Android Open Source Project has been around for quite a while, but that flashing builds on a device always required a number of manual steps, including a process for entering commands. To make that easier, Google comes with the Android Flash Tool to try a new Android Open Source Project build from the browser.

A year ago that process was already simplified with the Continuous Integration Dashboard ; this made it possible to download a latest version of the Android Open Source Project, but flashing that version on a phone still had to be done manually.

The web tool can only be used on Pixel 2, 3 and 4 smartphones or certain HiKey development boards . Furthermore, a storage space of 10 GB is required and the development device must be running Linux, macOS, Chrome OS or Windows including an additional USB driver . In addition, the browser must have support for WebUSB, which applies to Chrome or Edge 79+, for example. There is no support for flashing Android on tablets or Chrome OS devices.

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