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BOINC app for Android Gingerbread and up lets users wield their ‘droids for good

If your Android phone or tablet is rocking Gingerbread and up, you might want to consider donating your device’s extra processing power to science. The app known as BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing) lets users volunteer their smartphones and tablets in order to participate (if passively) in a range of projects of their choice, including those that combat AIDS and try to discover new stars.

Volunteer computing is of course nothing new – those of you who remember SETI and the SETI@home screensaver, which some years back could be installed and run on desktop PCs and Macs to process data when idle (to try and discover alien civilizations!), will be tickled pink to discover that folks today can now do the same with their Android devices. (We were also very happy to discover that SETI@home, which was shelved some years back, has now been resurrected as a BOINC project!)

The first step is of course to download and run the BOINC software from Google Play. Once that’s done, you can explore your options – the following are what are currently listed:

  • Einstein@home, Asteroids@home, theSkyNet POGS - astronomy, physics and chemistry
  • World Community Grid – Multiple applications
  • Yoyo@home – multiple applications
  • OProject@Home – mathematics, computing and games

Once you’ve made your choice, you’ll need to register by entering an email address and password and then following the succeeding instructions.

Don’t worry about maxing out your data allotment or running down your battery. BOINC will only participate in one’s project of choice when the devices it’s installed in are connected via Wi-Fi and charging – and when their batteries are 90 percent charged or better.

(As our link to the BOINC homepage reveals, BOINC can also be leveraged by other scientists who want to follow suit and craft other volunteer computing projects, by universities that want to craft virtual campus supercomputing centers, and/or by companies to perform desktop Grid computing. Interesting, eh?)

Oh, and iOS users, there’s no BOINC app for your devices just yet, but there may be one coming sometime in the future, so keep your fingers crossed.



Chris is into writing, tech, travel, photography, architecture, art and food - not necessarily in that order... He loves crispy Chinese noodles.

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