Why enable World Community Grid on Android mobile devices? The growth in mobile device ownership and usage is both undeniable and unstoppable. And while mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are small, they have become increasingly powerful. This makes mobile devices a potentially significant source of computing power and gives them an important role in the future of scientific research.
In addition, Android is an ideal platform for launching mobile volunteer computing; the number of Android devices is huge, 900 million as of May 2013, and growing rapidly. We are investigating options to expand to other platforms in the future.
Which World Community Grid projects can be run on Android devices? Currently volunteers can run the VINA research application for the FightAIDS@Home project, and more projects will be made available in the future. You need to ensure that your project selection includes the FightAIDS@Home project in order to contribute to that project on your Android device; instructions on project selection are available here.
Which Android devices are supported? The BOINC application for Android is supported on most, but not all, devices running Android 4.1 and higher (Android Gingerbread or more recent versions). If BOINC is not able to run on your Android device, you will see a message that states your device is not compatible when you attempt to install the BOINC app from the Google Play store.
Are there any specific system requirements for running World Community Grid on Android? Overall, World Community Grid only requires that the phone be running Android 4.1 or higher, but each research project has its own requirements for storage and memory usage. More details are available here.
Will this reduce battery life? By default, the Android BOINC application is only active when your device is plugged into a power source (AC or USB) and your battery is charged 90% or more. Using the application will not significantly reduce your battery life or your recharge time. If you wish, you can override these default power use settings and customize how World Community Grid runs on your device.
Will it use up my cellphone data plan? No. The Android BOINC application only transfers data (downloads tasks or uploads results) when your device is connected to a WiFi network. You can override these default settings in device preferences.
Will work unit deadlines be different for Android devices?
No. For now, all work units for projects that run on Android have been made smaller for all platforms, and are small enough to compute on an Android device in a reasonable amount of time. There are future plans to size work units dynamically based on the device a task is being computed on.
How do I participate and donate my Android device's computing time? Simply register for a World Community Grid account - during the registration process, you will be prompted to install the BOINC software on your Android device from the Google Play Store. Make sure to select 'World Community Grid' from the list of BOINC projects when you start the application.
If you're already a World Community Grid member, login to your account and go to the Download page instead.