Switch owners can now use an unofficial Android port on their Nintendo device thanks to some developers who shared their work.

Earlier this year, some developers announced that they are working on porting Android to the Switch, 9To5Google reported. A few months passed and now, that port -- a full-blown Android Oreo port -- is ready to be installed on the Nintendo portable console.

Nintendo Switch
An upgraded Nintendo Switch might arrive in 2019. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A detailed post on the XDA Developers forums reveals details about the ROM and gives instructions on how it can be installed on the Switch. Those who worry about the ROM overwriting the Switch’s base operating system won’t have anything to worry about as the Rom is installed and run off an SD card, and won’t affect how the Switch works.

It won’t work with all Switches, though. Switch owners will need to see if their Nintendo systems will work with the custom Hekate Bootloader, as this is required for the port to work.


The ROM is based on LineageOS 15.1 (Android Oreo 8.1) for the Nvidia Shield Android TV since it also has the Tegra X1 SoC the Switch uses. That said, it also brings added features found on the Nvidia Shield TV such as exclusive apps including Gamestream.

Joy-Cons will work with the port, whether the device is in handheld or docked mode. Android games and apps like Netflix will also work in both modes, and will transition from handheld to docked mode smoothly: those who find the Switch’s display too small Netflix movies can simply place it on the dock and see the show on their TV screens or whatever display the dock is connected to.

Bugs and Issues

The developers admit that this port, being a first build, has some bugs. It’s worth noting, however, that there aren’t that many bugs in it. Here are some of the bugs it has as of writing time:

  • Battery life is not great.
  • Auto rotation doesn’t work.
  • Charging is not detected, but console still charges.
  • Some apps don't handle joycon inputs correctly.
  • Touchscreen sometimes detects fingers floating over the screen.
  • No screenshots.
  • WiFi may randomly stop working and will need rebooting.
  • If TV looks odd and grainy when docking, redock a few times.
  • No TV keyboard that can be used with gamepad.
  • No access to the FAT32 partition of the SD card on macOS. Windows and Linux works

Here’s a demo of the Android port working on the Switch: