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printf("Hello, MK802!\n");


Tech Talk About MK802
Envy This Stuff MK802 FAQ

Copyright © 2012 Envy This Stuff. All rights reserved. Note that this is a live web page, in the sense that we'll be adding new discussions as appropriate, so stop by from time to time. Also, given the newnesss of the MK802, this web page is also under construction (Version 0.09, Aug 18, 2012) , so if you see something not right, please email us about it. In the meantime, content will be put up, revised, etc. and that will be the case for some time given all that is going on in the MK802 community, hence creating a cat and mouse game with information in some cases. So, please be patient as we revisit topics, add new material, expand/enhance current descriptions, etc.

The intent of this page is to address questions about the MK802 that come up often, perhaps too often. However, it is exactly the frequency of these topics that is the reason for including a discussion of them below. These points have found themselves here as the result of our connection to the MK802 communities over the months, whether helping in newsgroups and forums, providing tech support for our MK802 customers, or just plain listening to folks' issues. It is not the intent of this FAQ to answer every possible question about the MK802, or have the last word on a particular subject, that would be unwise, however, we hope to strike a reasonable balance in covering as many topics as possible without being impractical and delving into esoterica.

Please note that you should take answers as having no guarantees, that they may be totally incorrect in certain situations, not be up to date, etc., and therefore you assume all risks and costs associated with following the answers and information here.

Here's the current topics:

  1. What is an "MK802"?
  2. What else do I need to run an MK802?
  3. How big is the MK802?
  4. How much does the MK802 weigh?
  5. Must I have an HDMI monitor?
  6. Do DisplayLink monitors work?
  7. How do I root the MK802??
  8. How do I unroot the MK802??
  9. I can't get Wifi working.
  10. I can't get Bluetooth working.
  11. I can't get my USB camera working.
  12. I can't get my microSD card working.
  13. I can't get my flashdrive/USB HDD/microSD/etc working.
  14. Can I use a joy stick with the MK802?
  15. Can I Skype with the MK802?
  16. Can I adb into the MK802?
  17. Is the MK802 really 1.5GHz?
  18. Can I use a hub on my MK802?
  19. My MK802 is shutting down for no reason.
  20. My MK802 won't boot, now what?
  21. My MK802 is acting weird, now what?
  22. How do I update the MK802 firmware?
  23. After upgrading to the "Rev2" firmware, I keep getting a virtual keyboard popping up!
  24. After upgrading to the "Rev2" firmware, the Enter key does not work from the physical keyboard
  25. Where is the MK802 on/off switch?
  26. How to put the MK802 into 1080p mode?
  27. My system is in Chinese, how to reset to another language?
  28. My mouse pointer is too dark and too small
  29. Google Play doesn't find apps, what's up??
  30. Can XBMC run on the MK802?
  31. Can LINUX run on the MK802?
  32. What development tools are available for MK802 LINUX?
  33. Do you have a question to add??

What is an "MK802"?

The MK802 is an ARM-based device, actually it is a computer (a SOC, System On a Chip, including the ARM, and a MALI400 GPU, Graphics Processing Unit). It is based on the Allwinner A10 ARM Cortex-A8 processor. It is about the size of a flashdrive -- approximately 8.8x3.5x1.2cm which is about 3.5x1.4x0.5inches, and weighs about 1 ounce.

It comes with Android 4.0 preinstalled and hence sufficiently acts as a "Google TV" device. It is more semi-formally called the "Android 4.0 Mini PC MK802". Those of you with Android SmartPhones will be very familiar with some functionality, etc. of the out-of-the-box MK802.

It comes with 512MB DDR3, 4GB flash, a 2A power port, an HDMI port, a USB 2.0 port, a mini USB 2.0 OTG port (both USB ports can also power the device, but using hubs, HDDs, etc. point to a higher power draw and hence your using the power port) and a TFlash port (also known as a microSD port) accepting cards up to 32GB. It currently requires a HDMI monitor and currently no DVI or VGA adapters are known to work with it. Built-in is also Wi-fi support. Various devices are supported via USB, however clarity still needs to be provided on exactly which devices. It works well with many wireless mice, keyboards, etc.

Of note is that currently there is no builtin Bluetooth support, not even via USB, from Android (only via LINUX). Also, there is no on/off switch. Also, although the hardware supports 1080p, it turns out that the firmare is limiting it to 720p under Android. This limitatation will be fixed in a firmware upgrade due out shortly, and as well, it is not a limitation for LINUX (though you may need to do some tweaking by hand to obtain 1080p with LINUX).

There is also the MK802+ which is the same unit but with 1GB DDR3. When this FAQ refers to MK802, it refers to either model. There has also been two generations of MK802, so when this FAQ refers to MK802, it refers to both generations as well. If/when there is a need to disinquish generations or models, this FAQ will do its best to do so.

The MK802 unit is also able to run LINUX as provided by the end user community. This is done via mastering a microSD card and booting off of it.

The 802 lets your surf the web, play movies and music, do email, stream wifi, etc. The whole Android Google Play Marketplace is available (although details about this still need to be ironed out further as it reports some apps as being incompatible when they probably shouldn't be).

The 802 therefore presents itself as a wonder device capable of a myriad of things such as TV, gaming, entertainment and development, and then some.

We feel it will be very handy in creating turkney kiosks, robotics, education, presentations, etc. Surely there is some cool stuff that can be done we don't even know about yet. We Envy This Stuff :)

For a more technie kind of tech sheet you can have a look at http://www.EnvyThisStuff.com/mk802.html

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What else do I need to run an MK802?

The MK802 comes with the CPU unit itself, some cables, and a power adapter. You will need to get yourself:
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How big is the MK802?
How much does the MK802 weigh?

The MK802is about 8.8x3.5x1.2cm, which is about 3.5x1.4x0.5inches. That means that it is not much bigger than two flash drives or two packs of gum!

The MK802 weighs about 1.0 ounce.

It ships in a retail box about 5.5x4x2.25 inches and weighing about 10.5 ounces.

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Must I have an HDMI monitor?
Do DisplayLink monitors work?

The MK802 provides an HDMI port, and comes with a Type A to mini Type C HDMI cable.

Currently there is no known way to use any adapter which will work with S/VGA, DVI, etc. If anybody knows of such as adapter please inform us!

Currently there is no support for DisplayLink monitors.

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How to root the MK802?
How to unroot the MK802?

There is no need to root the MK802, because Android already comes pre-rooted for the MK802.

It's currently unclear if unrooting the MK802 will be destructive since it's unclear if it comes rooted because it needs to be and is used in some way by MK802 Android, or if it comes rooted because it's convenient for us for it to be rooted. Until that is determined, it's unclear how wise unrooting it might be.

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I can't get Wifi working.

It appears that on some units, that, the HDMI cable interferes with not only wifi'ing through the MK802, but seems to emit so much RF signal that it effective prohibits all wifi devices from communicating with the router. Another theory is that this is heat related and throwns off the wifi chips ability to do its original connection in some manner. Nobody know exactly why this happens yet. The current "solutions" seems to be: The problem is nobody knows for certain yet which of these is the exact direction to take here and it make be multiple problems masquerading as the same one, so it may be that under different situations any of the above might provide a resolution.
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I can't get Bluetooth working.

That's right, currently when running Android on the MK802, Bluetooth is not supported.

However, Bluetooth running LINUX on the MK802 is supported. Hopefully it is eventually available for both.

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I can't get my USB camera working.

That's right, currently when running Android on the MK802, USB cameras are not supported. However, the manufacturer claims to be providing this is a firmware upgrade available shortly.

We believe that USB cameras support is already available for LINUX on the MK802.

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I can't get my microSD card working.

This can be a problem under Android for a few reasons: Some of these problems may or may not also be a problem for LINUX on the MK802.
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I can't get my flashdrive/USB HDD/microSD/etc working.

See this and these thoughts:
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Can I use a joystick with the MK802?

Some do seem to work, but it's unclear exactly which ones. We know that the USB SNES Game Controller works. If you know others that you've witnessed first hand as working, please email us with details (make, model, connection type, set up options, etc).
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Can I Skype with the MK802?

Camera support for MK802 Android was added in the new July 2012 firmware that was made available. We are beginning to hear that some cameras are still not supported but that there is a few success stories, so it seems this is a bit of a mix still right now. Anyway, for those that are getting it, it seems "full Skype" is possible once a microphone app is applied as well.

It's our understanding that Skype'ing was already available for LINUX on the MK802 all along.

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Can I adb into the MK802?

Different users seems to be experiencing different results here both with Android and with LINUX. Some suggestions to resolve this include:
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Is the MK802 really 1.5GHz?

Apparently the MK802 can be overclocked to 1.5GHz, however the manufacturer claims that it would be unsafe to do so. There is some controvery about whether the original MK802's were overclocked though. Especially as the packaging was written to state that it was 1.5GHz. However, the manufacturer has clarified that that was written incorrectly and that what they really wanted to express was that as the CPU is about 0.98GHz and the GPU is about 0.5 that the two of them acting in parallel could achieve 1.5GHz.
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Can I use a hub on my MK802?

Yes, however, in some cases you may have to deal with your MK802 being overloaded or not booting or acting weird.
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My MK802 is shutting down for no reason.

As with all electronics, problems can often show up. You may have also gotten a lemon.

That aside, there is also the possibility that you are overloading it. Therefore, consider using the provided power suppply instead of USB power. Also, if you have a hard disk drive, or a hub, consider providing them their own power supplies.

For more issues, you may also want to looks at issues which make your MK802 act weird as well as that you may need to update or reinstall your firmware.

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My MK802 won't boot, now what?
My MK802 is acting weird, now what?

The following problems are known:
  1. Currently Android on the MK802 does not support Bluetooth.
  2. When running Android, the screen might black out, and then resume as if nothing happened. The manufacturer claims this will be fixed in the next firmware release, to be available shortly.
  3. Plugging the HDMI cable into your monitor stops wifi from working. AFAWK this is still an open issue.
  4. You received a new MK802 and Android does not boot up or it "gets stuck" once it displays the Android logo.

If you feel you are seeing these or other strange results, you might want to consider:

  1. Reboot.
  2. Make sure all electrical cables are properly plugged in on both ends, external devices are firmly in place, etc.
  3. Try different cables.
  4. Consider using the provided power supply instead of USB power, as well as considering providing hubs and hard disk drives with their own power supplies.
  5. It may be that you need to redo your firmware for some reason.
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How do I update the MK802 firmware?

The following is an involved description to upgrade the firmware on your MK802 in an attempt to try and "cover all the bases" when you could not achieve the upgrade following a simpler description.

To upgrade/reinstall the MK802 firmware, here's the "supplies" you will need:

  1. An MK802 along with its micro USB cable. In some cases, you may also need the MK802 wall power adapter.
  2. A computer running MS-Windows. Currently the firmware cannot be installed using another operating system.
  3. An available USB 2.0 port on that computer.
  4. You will need a paper clip or toothpick to upgrade the firmware.
  5. You should probably create a folder just for the purposes of installing the firmware. Put it on a drive with enough space (currently over 1G when you consider you need to hold the downloaded file AND the uncompressed form too), including consideration for future firmwares that may be provided.
  6. A program which can extract from .zip files.
  7. A program which can extract from .7z files.
  8. (A program which can extract from .rar files. The description below does not use such file types, but other descriptions may, plus future firmware upgrades may use these file types.)
  9. Get a copy of the firmware itself. It is en-us-NEW2-ak003.img from around May/June, 2012. We believe is it version 2.3. It can be found here in .zip form. The download will take around 2.5 hours on an average DSL connection, so it could take shorter or longer depending upon your situation. Here's its stats:
    -rw-r--r--  1 EnvyThisStuff  EnvyThisStuff  288437295 Jul 12 12:40 en-us-NEW2-ak003.img.zip
    MD5 (en-us-NEW2-ak003.img.zip) = e0742beffe3b913008d43f1e10e62e3e
    
    Make sure you have available disk space for downloading it. Once you unzip it, it should be:
    -rwxrwxrwx@ 1 EnvyThisStuff  EnvyThisStuff  318536496 Jun  8 07:18 en-us-NEW2-ak003.img
    MD5 (en-us-NEW2-ak003.img) = 57a33a2668b1c86fccc6b1fb0ea7f8ac
    

    NOTE: A July 2012 firmware upgrade can also be applied, it is available via http://www.EnvyThisStuff.com/downloads/FW0710B.rar and here's its stats:

    -rw-r--r--  1 EnvyThisStuff  EnvyThisStuff  290471107 Jul 17 17:44 FW0710B.rar
    MD5 (FW0710B.rar) = ebeed46794904573845a9cfcc080135b
    
    Make sure you have available disk space for downloading it. Once you unrar it, it should be:
    -rw-r--r--  1 EnvyThisStuff  EnvyThisStuff  338147328 Jul 16 09:37 FW 0710B.img
    MD5 (FW 0710B.img) = aa03d5e99da7efdc05e221602a6238e6
    
  10. Get a copy of the LiveSuit software pack. Note it is not Suite but Suit. It's what you need to use to "burn" or "flash" the firmware to the MK802. Note that this program is only available for MS-Windows. Another way to say this is that you MUST have MS-Windows in order to upgrade your MK802 firmware.

    There are two separate sets of LiveSuit and drivers, one for 32-bit Windows, and another for 64-bit Windows in the case of say Windows 7. You don't need both of these, just the one that matches your Windows. If you mistakenly download the wrong one, the LiveSuit will not run properly, so don't freak, just download the other in that case. These downloads for 32-bit LiveSuit and for 64-bit LiveSuit are not as large as the firmware image itself, instead running:

    -rw-r--r--  1 EnvyThisStuff  EnvyThisStuff  15008600 Jul 11 09:33 livesuit64.7z
    -rw-r--r--  1 EnvyThisStuff  EnvyThisStuff  2980516 Jul 11 09:32 livesuit32.7z
    MD5 (livesuit32.7z) = 58c63706060cf7841a1c0789c49edb15
    MD5 (livesuit64.7z) = 566e004cae06c7529a9869ec67de5004
    

    To make it easier, you should probably download and unzip LiveSuit into the same folder as you downloaded the above firmware file.

The downloading and unzipping should now be complete and it's time to get down to business. There is what we consider a sequence error below, which is that, we would think that you would plug in the MK802, install the driver, then upgrade the firmware. However, it appears that the actual sequence needs to be to start the program which upgrades the firmware, then plug in the MK802 and install the driver, then return back to the program which upgrades the firmware. Go figure. So, what that in mind, here goes:
  1. Go the the livesuit folder and run LiveSuit.exe. Once LiveSuit is running, Click "SelectIMG" and browse for the en-us-NEW2-ak003.img file you downloaded earlier.

    You'll now leave this program alone for a while and return to it later. Do not exit it.

  2. In addition to upgrading the firmware, Windows needs to recognize the MK802 in the first place. So you need to upgrade your Windows with the MK802 driver before you can upgrade the firmware. Often when you plug in a new device you bought, Windows will tell you it found new hardware and then you'll need to wait a minute while it finds the driver and installs in into the proper places. In other cases it tells you it found new hardware but Windows doesn't know where the driver is. This latter situation will be the case when it detects the MK802.

    Don't do so yet, but you're close to plugging your MK802 into your Windows machine. Do not use the normal male to male USB 2.0 cable that came with your MK802. Instead you're going to use the male to micro male cable and plug the micro connector into the MK802 OTG port, and eventually (not yet) plug the normal connector on the cable into your Windows machine.

    Note: DO NOT USE THE NORMAL SIZED USB2.0 to USB2.0 cable, it must be the cable with the micro connector on it!

  3. If you've noticed, when you normally plug in your MK802 to use it, a power light comes on "at the top" of the unit, visible through a little hole on the end of the device near where the HDMI port is located... close to the Android's head on properly printed units. If you've also noticed, there is a second little hole on that end of the unit, near the Android guy's feet (if your unit was printed correctly). If you stick a paperclip into the second hole, and push, you will be able to feel that you are clicking a button. So, insert the paperclip into the hole until the button is in the "down state" and hold it there while at the same time, plug the normal USB connector from the cable hanging off the MK802 into your Windows machine. Keep the button pushed for a few seconds, let's say 10 seconds.

    When you plug it in, the power light should light up no matter what. You should then get a message from Windows saying it detected new hardware. It might also say it detected a problem with the new hardware. If you do not get either of these, then most likely the paperclip slipped and the button was no longer pressed. If not, give it a minute to be sure, unplug it, and simultaneously try to plug it in and push the button with the paperclip again.

    If you do not get a power light, it could be that your computer's USB port is not emitting a strong enough voltage. Make sure it is USB 2.0. Reboot your computer perhaps. Plug it directly into the computer's USB port and not via a hub if necessary. If that does not help, try plugging in the MK802 power cord once you have plugged it into your computer's USB port but while still holding down the reset button with the paper clip.

  4. Once you get the message from Windows that it detected the new hardware, for VID_1f3a_PID_efe8, you will have to provide it the driver, since Windows does not have it. Instead, the driver is in the UsbDriver folder of the livesuit software pack you downloaded and unpacked earlier. To inform Windows about the driver, go the the Window's Control Panel. There you'll see System Properties. Click on that. Then click on the Hardware tab. Then click on the Window's Device Manager button. If needed, expand the USB section (click on the +). There you should see a "USB Device" and it'll probably have a yellow exclamation point next to it.
  5. If you right click that device, the drop down menu will include an "Update Driver" choice. Click that. Then click Browse because you will need to tell Windows where the driver is. Go to you livesuit folder and click on the UsbDriver folder. Click "Next". The driver should now install and Windows should detect the MK802.

    If successful the previous yellow'd USB device will now appear as USB Device(VID_1f3a_PID_efe8).

  6. Do not unplug the MK802 yet, as you are still not finished since you still need to flash the firmware. To do that, resume back to the LiveSuit.exe window running from earlier. If LiveSuite has not already prompted you as below, click "SysUpdate". You'll be asked whether you want to format the memory space that the firmware is on, or not. The message will look like this:
    +--------------------------+
    | LiveSuit               X |
    +--------------------------+
    Tips: Does mandatory format? 
    
    Forced format will lead to files are missing, please back up important files!
    
    Select Yes, enter the format upgrade mode.
    Select No, enter the normal upgrade mode. (Recommended)
    
            +---+  +--+
            |Yes|  |No|
            +---+  +--+
    
    If you want to erase your whole "Android space" and return it as it was provided to you from the manufacturer, then click yes. Upon doing so it will again ask:
    +--------------------------+
    | LiveSuit               X |
    +--------------------------+
    Tips: are you sure to force format?
    
    Select Yes, enter the format upgrade mode.
    Select No, enter the normal upgrade mode.
    
    format upgrade may takes some times, please wait...
    
            +---+  +--+
            |Yes|  |No|
            +---+  +--+
    
    If you'd like to keep the files and apps that you added to your system's main memory since you got your MK802, then click no. (Realize that this assumes your system is otherwise ok, but if for instance, the Android file system got hosed, then, it may be that you'll need to format anyway.)
  7. Either way, DO NOT UNPLUG YOUR MK802 UNTIL YOU GET A MESSAGE THAT THE FIRMWARE UPDATE OPERATION WAS SUCCESSFUL:
    +---------------------------
    | LiveSuit               X |
    +---------------------------
      /!\ Update success 
             +----+
             | OK |
             +----+
    
    This make take a few minutes. Livesuit makes a guess of the remaining time and tells you on the bottom of its window. Only once you've received the success message should you unplug the MK802, and try it out!

    We have heard of some cases where there is no text to this message. In those cases it also appears that the update really was not a success and if a retry of this whole upgrade process does not yield a valid update, then try the whole update process on another computer.

  8. If during this process you receive the message:
    +-------------------------+
    |LiveSuit               X |
    +-------------------------+
    /!\ No device that need to update !
       +--+
       |OK|
       +--+
    
    from LiveSuit, then, most likely there was an error in following the steps above. However, sometimes, the solution is to unplug the MK802 and replug it back in while holding down the button with the paperclip.
  9. Once successful your device will appear as USB Device(VID_1f3a_PID_efe8). If you plug it back in in the future with the paperclip as described above it should continue to appear as that device.
  10. In some cases, you may see an "Other Device" listed as "Android". This is not the firmware device and usually means you did not push the reset button properly when you plugged it into the Windows machine. If so, unplug the MK802 and replug it back in while holding down the button with the paperclip.
  11. Note that if you do the format upgrade that the default language will be changed to Chinese when you run the MK802. To revise that default, once Android boots up, click on the blue button near the top. Then click on settings and arrow down the left side until you get to the "A" icon. Click that. Then, click on the top right side which will then put up a list of languages. If you format upgraded, will also need to re-establish your wi-fi connection, the date and time, and your Google Market account information, as well as anything else you had set up.

There are times when you will be upgrading the firmware because the manufacturer released a new version. However, there may also be times you're upgrading your firmware because your MK802 was acting oddly, etc. Please note that in this latter case that the firmware may not upgrade properly or at all given that there is the possibility that your MK802 is no longer functional at all.

Also note that if you decide to restore any files after a firmware upgrade that normally you do not want to be restoring any system files without a really good reason as that would create a sort of out-of-sync base system. Read carefully as this is not referring to end-user applications and such but system files.

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After upgrading to the "Rev2" firmware, I keep getting a virtual keyboard popping up!

There seems to be two ways to fix this:
  1. Go to and click through Settings/Apps/ALL/Android keyboard then click Disable then click OK
  2. Install a "null" keyboard by downloading an app.
    • So, click on the "Play Store". Enter null keyboard in the search field. You will see apps such as "Null Keyboard" and "Null Input Method" and so on. Install one of those.
    • Go to and click through Settings/Language & input/KEYBOARD & INPUT METHODS then click Null Input Method in the case that you downloaded the Null Input Method app, and so on for whichever app you downloaded.
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After upgrading to the "Rev2" firmware, the Enter key does not work from the physical keyboard

You will need to edit a file and change a key mapping. To wit:
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Where is the MK802 on/off switch?

There is none. There are some process kill and shutdown and reboot apps, but a main problem right now is that the MK802 does not have a physical on/off switch. Nor a way to put it to sleep and power off. In our opinion, the jury is still out on how best to handle this situation, so for now, we have no suggestion for a best app until it appears that there really is one.

In the meantime, the way to turn your MK802 off is to unplug it. There has been unclear claims that doing so can corrupt the internal flash and/or your microSD card, etc. We are not convinced this is the case, however, that said, before yanking out the power cord or USB power, try to bring the maching to an as quiescent state as possible.

It therefore follows that the way to turn your MK802 on, is to plug the power cord or a live USB cable into it.

As a somewhat sidebar, please note that the MK802 does not contain any sort of battery backup.

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How do I get the MK802 into 1080p mode?

The manufacturer claims the MK802 can do 1080p output. However, this is not the full story. The hardware can definitely do 1080p. However, currently the firmware is setup that the existing situation is that Android is unable to output 1080p right now. Currently the max is 720p. The manufacturer claimed a July 2012 upgrade to the firmware would provide a way for 1080p to work with Android but it turns out that it is still really 720p. So hopefully this is still reconciled satisfactorily shortly.

The user community has ported various flavors on LINUX to the MK802, and it can already do 1080p, although you may need to obtain a specialized evb.bin in order to accomplish it. Details about this TBA.

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My mouse pointer is too dark and too small.

By default the MK802 comes with a dark blue wallpaper with a black mouse with a dark blue outline. Therefore on some screens it's close to impossible to see.

One thing you can do it to change your wallpaper to a lighter color, however, even that is insufficient depending upon screen glare, what's being displayed on the screen, etc.

So another thing you can also do is to change your mouse pointer. That's right, change the actual image being displayed as the mouse pointer. Here's how:

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Google Play doesn't find apps, what's up?

Apparently Android thinks some apps which aren't compatible with the MK802 are compatible, and also thinks some apps compatible with the MK802 aren't compatible. This is currently an open issue and is at least being looked into by various members of the user community.

Also, in some cases the system clock gets set to 1970 and it seems this confuses Google Play Store. So, reset the time and see if that helps.

Remember too, if you upgrade the firmware with the format option, you may need to reset your clock and/or will need to reenter your Google account information.

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Can XBMC run on the MK802?

A pre-release of XBMC Media Center App is available under Android. More details TBA.
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Can LINUX run on the MK802?

Yes, various flavors of LINUX are available for the MK802. The manufacturer only supplies Android, so LINUX is gotten elsewhere. Currently, installation is done on a microSD card which is then booted off of on the MK802. Details TBA.
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What development tools are available for MK802 LINUX?

You can install gcc et al as normal.

Also, Comeau C/C++ for MK802 is expected to be available during or before 4Q12.

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Do you have a question to add?

Do not hesitate to email us at EnvyThisStuff@gmail.com if you have any other questions or concerns you would like to see covered. Obviously we will need to prioritize what issues get included or not. And do realize that the inclusion of some topics may require considerable research before being incorporated in whole or even in part.
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Revised: June, 2013