Developer Platform

A guide to the platform of choice for PowerVR developers

Developing for PowerVR - Acer Chromebook R 13

If you’re eager to develop applications for PowerVR GPUs, but don’t know where to start then this is the page for you.

Introducing the Acer Chromebook R 13 – the platform of choice for PowerVR developers

chromebook flipped copy

This page will tell you everything you need to know about getting your new Chromebook ready for development.

Why use an Acer Chromebook R 13?

The Acer Chromebook R 13 is an ideal developer platform for PowerVR.

chromebook front

It has a quad-core CPU, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and, most importantly, a Mediatek MT8173 SoC containing a PowerVR GX6250. This powerful GPU is based on our Series 6XT Rogue architecture.

You won’t have any problems running complex games or other applications on this platform

Preparing your Chromebook for Android development

Before you can start using this platform to develop for Android you will need to flash the Chromebook with a version of the OS.

Follow these easy steps to get your Chromebook development ready.

Enabling Developer Mode

  1. Turn off the Chromebook
  2. Start the Chromebook in recovery mode by holding down ESC and Refresh and pressing the power button on the side
chromebook keyboard dev mode
  1. When the Chromebook switches on press CTRL+D at the recovery screen. Ensure developer mode is enabled by confirming OS verification should be turned off.
  2. Wait as the Chromebook reboots. This will take around 10-15 minutes

Configuring the Chromebook for Android

In order to start configuring and flashing the Chromebook you will need an image of Android. We’ve provided a copy that’s set up and ready to go. The files in this download should be copied onto a microSD card, so they can be accessed on the Chromebook.

  1. When developer mode has been enabled, boot into Chrome OS using CTRL+D from the recovery screen
  2. Press CTRL+ALT+T to open the shell tab in Chrome OS
chromeos shell cropped
  1. Type shell and then sudo su at the prompt
  2. Insert the microSD card with the image of Android into the Chromebook
  3.  Burn gpt.bin onto the Chromebook with:
    dd if=/media/removable/to/gpt of =/dev/mmbcblk0
  4. Repair the secondary GPT header and entries block:
    cgpt repair /dev/mmcblk0
  5. Mark KERN-A and KERN-B partitions as bootable:
    cgpt add -i 2 -P 14 -T 1 -S 1 /dev/mmcblk0
    cgpt add -i 4 -P 13 -T 1 -S 1 /dev/mmcblk0
  6. Reboot the Chromebook and wait until it repairs itself

Setting up and Flashing Android to the Chromebook

Now all that’s left to do is load the Android image onto the Chromebook and flash this version of Android. 

  1. Boot into ChromeOS and open the shell
  2. Insert the microSD card into the Chromebook
  3. Copy update.zip from the microSD onto the Chromebook:
    cp /path/to/update.zip /mnt/stateful_partition/unencrypted/preserve
  4. Burn recovery.img to the recovery partition:
    dd if=/path/to/recovery.img of=/dev/mmcblk0p20
  5. Mark the recovery partition as bootable:
    cgpt add -i 20 -P 15 -T 1 -S 1 /dev/mmcblk0
  6. Reboot the Chromebook
  7. Press CTRL+D to boot into Android recovery
android recovery scaled
  1.  Select the apply update from '/sdcard' option and navigate to /unencrypted/preserve and select update.zip. This will flash Android to the Chromebook and may take a few minutes
  2. Select wipe data/factory reset
  3. Finally, select boot android os and then press CTRL+D to boot into Android

Accidentally booting ChromeOS

If you accidentally boot into ChromeOS you will need to re-enable the Android recovery menu to be able to boot into Android again.

  1. Press CTRL+ALT+T in the Chrome browser
  2. Type shell
  3. Type cgpt add -i 20 -P 15 -T 1 -S 1 /dev/mmcblk0

Connecting to your Chromebook

In order to connect a Chromebook to a local network running DHCP you will need a USB to Ethernet adaptor with an ASIX chipset. These are very common in 10/100 Mbit adaptors, but rare in 1000 Mbit adaptors.

An example of this type of adaptor is the  D-Link DUB-E100.

Once you have connected your Chromebook to a network using an adaptor it will receive an IP address just before recovery starts.

Connecting via ADB

In order to connect to your Chromebook from other device such as Windows PC you will need to use ADB. ADB can be downloaded from the Android developer website as part of their SDK Platform Tools.

Once ADB has been downloaded, you can find the IP address of your Chromebook by going to Settings -> About tablet.

Now you can simply connect on Linux with:

killall adb
adb connect [IPADDRESS]
adb shell

Support & resources

Get your answers online with our comprehensive documentation, developer forum and our dedicated PowerVR developer support desk.