If you like to spend your free time hacking around on your Android device, you've no doubt felt the sting of switching back and forth from the terminal. Now with AirTerm you can leave the terminal floating on top of whatever you're doing. This app comes from the same folks that brought you OverSkeen and AirCalc.

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This is a true floating window that you can move, resize, and minimize while you work. You can run multiple instances of AirTerm on the screen, and the interface is tabbed for easier management. AirTerm can also install busybox, ssh, vim, rsync, and more on your device if they're not already present.

Root is not necessary to run AirTerm, but there's really not a whole lot you can do in the terminal with an un-rooted device. If you are in search of a more desktop-like experience, this app can be yours for $1.99.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • http://profiles.google.com/scottoldfield Scott Oldfield

    I wonder how long before MBFG gets bought by Google! (Actually, I wonder if the Android team actually likes this idea of windowed apps.

    • sssgadget

      I recall Diana (google employee) saying on Google+ that Android was not meant for such kind of UI/behavior. 

      • jm9843

        Different context.  She was referring to the open-source Cornerstone and it's possible inclusion with CM9.

        Apples & Oranges.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Different context indeed, as Onskreen touches the OS and this app utilizes existing functionality. I still don't think Google likes these kinds of apps at the moment.

          Either way, I don't think Google will buy them or they'll be interested in working for Google.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Google doesn't like the idea, not until they can implement support for something like this properly in the framework. Dianne Hackborn went haywire on Steve Kondik for saying he's considering implementing OnSkreen in CM9, the discussion was quite epic: https://plus.google.com/100275307499530023476/posts/ViCME1bb8F6

      • TKL

        Thank you for sharing this discussion with us! It was most interesting and informative for me. I and perhaps plenty of other AP readers would appreciate if you brought more of them to our attention.

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

        I can understand why Google is reluctant to jump on board with this kind of thing, and it's clear that Dianne Hackborn has some good points and is passionate in that position (albeit I see some categorically terrible handling of public relations, more than a couple dangerously awful viewpoints, and at least a little naivety about the ecosystem she seems to think she understands so well).  However, at the end of the day, when Windows 8 lands and the demand for more capable multitasking (specifically multiple apps on the screen) jumps from 0.001% of users to 75% of users, Google will be forced by market pressure to have something ready or get out of the way.  In 2 years, any modern tablet that doesn't support running at least two apps on the screen at once (in some form, floating, tiled or otherwise) will be seen as obsolete.

        I've been predicting for a long time that this will ultimately be one of the downfalls for the iPad (I'm not saying death, just a substantial hit to their market share and sales figures).  Just from my own time studying the iOS SDK, I don't believe they can make the changes quickly enough to accomplish this without the solutions being bad hacks. Frankly, they've got a LOT of other things they need to catch up with before they can even start working on this.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          I'm really hoping what she secretly meant by this was that JB is going to bring this functionality to the framework.

          • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

            I don't think she was terribly evasive, she and the rest of the Android Team clearly know this functionality is necessary and there's not a doubt in my mind that they will be bringing it to Android (I'm not going to try guessing if it'll be floaty windows, something like cornerstone, or something else entirely).

            My interpretation is similar but a little more bleak (yikes, I feel like I've said that a bit too much this week).  I suspect this functionality may be added in a sloppy and rushed way like Honeycomb was.  I could easily have misread it, but her response gave me a feeling the Android Team isn't very close to getting this stuff baked in and they are nervous about delivering so much along with the many other features planned for Jellybean.  If Multitasking isn't already a part of their plan for Jellybean, it's going to be close to a year before we have Google's version...and that does not make a good argument for keeping Cornerstone (or alternatives) out of CM9.

  • tanknspank

    I can't seem to like the idea of these apps. just not for me.

  • Dude

    If I had use for the terminal I would certainly purchase this app. I don't think I've used a terminal directly on my phone since the G1 days.

  • denbo68

    Very nice.

  • e.

    Wont be purchasing until developer gets rid of obnoxious * symbol in the name that keeps the app on the top of the app list. 

  • Dave BG

    Immediate install! This guy is great!

  • aeneas_shrike

    I've been using Stick-It which is also by this dev. It allows you to view one or more videos in a window pane similar to Overscreen (which I also use) and the term app above.
    While the termapp above isn't something I'll be getting as I don't use terminal, the other two apps are very much useful to me at certain times on my tablets. I don't use either on my phone. On my tablet, I'm oftentimes interested in continuing to do other things while having the browser/video up. Both are very useful if you like having youtube audio videos playing for music but want to do something else, as with both the browser and youtube app, as soon as you don't have either pulled up they cease to play their audio.

    I'd recommend looking at Stick-It and Overscreen if you have a tablet and have such situations as described above

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6QHEF3SN2QIHPPTIHCU54CJGOU joe

    speaking of floating apps, look like there's a new floating app but not from these developers. its an instant messaging app. we definitely need more apps like this!


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Danny-Higgins/100000821001563 Danny Higgins

    Bought it, had already purchased OverSkreen. This guy is a beast at creating floating apps. I wish EVERY app was like this, a tablet would be more like a real computer. How annoying is it to have to WATCH an audio clip on Youtube and not be able to do anything else at the same time? You call that multitasking? LOL!

    Kudos to the dev here :D