14
Jul
ConsoleBot200x257

Running Android on a PC seems like a good idea, until you actually look at the logistics of making the platform work on a non-touch interface. Add to that all the projects out there attempting to do so with limited or completely absent support for Google Play, and you've got a recipe for lame. Console OS was looking for a cool $50k to make Android work on PCs, and the company has succeeded with almost a month left in the campaign.

Console OS is going to be a fork of Android built to work on Intel-based PCs, which makes it crazy fast. Yeah, we talk all the time about how fast one ARM chip or another is, but they're fast in the context of devices that live in your pocket and have to run for a full day. A computer with a big, energy-hungry Intel Core processor is way faster, and that means Console OS has the potential to run standard Android games with higher-resolution graphics. Console OS is still a fork, but Mobile Media Ventures says it will be sticking close to the Android API stack to ensure compatibility.

So what about Google Play? Getting Console OS certified isn't possible as Mountain View's CTS is only for actual devices. Instead, the company is promising to ship with the ability to import Google Play purchases via a connector app on your phone or tablet. How this is going to work is still a bit murky. There will also be support for the Amazon Appstore and enhanced Android games through the official Console Store.

COS-competitive-061214-002

Console OS itself will be free, and Mobile Media Ventures plans to contribute code back to AOSP. The catch, however, is that Console OS has to be built for new devices individually (25 x86 laptops, tablets, and convertibles are already planned). If you have a supported device, you'll be able to dual-boot Console OS with Windows. The pro version of Console OS (planned for a $20 yearly subscription) will include a bunch of additional features like "InstaSwitch" for toggling between Windows and Android without a reboot and native DVR support.

Buying into the Kickstarter earns you a lifetime subscription to the pro version of Console OS, along with votes on which hardware gets support next. The higher tiers come with more licenses and extras like shirts (it wouldn't be a Kickstarter without shirts). The 1.0 release is planned for December 2014. Is it going to work? Your guess is as good as mine.

[Kickstarter, Console OS]

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

  • Mayoo

    I like the idea, but the voting seems odd.

    I mean, "vote for what PC [...] to be built for". Do they know that there is like gazillion PC configurations out there?

    • ConsoleOS.com

      We're going to aggregate the chipsets in the machines people use and target them wholistically. We want to craft driver support based on what our backers are using - they're the ones making Console OS happen.

      • h4rr4r

        Why are you doing anything with drivers at all?
        The mainline kernel has drivers for everything you would ever find.

        • ConsoleOS.com

          No, it really doesn't. Not on the PC, if you're referring to AOSP. As to Linux kernel mainline, there are certainly a lot of great drivers we'll be using there - but there is significant work that needs to be done for Android support, especially for wireless and other radios. Same with graphics and even some controllers.

          • h4rr4r

            I am referring to Mainline Linux.

            Those wireless and other radios need to make it into Linus's tree. This reinventing the wheel is silly.

          • ConsoleOS.com

            If it was "silly" or trivial to do, it would have been done already. We're aiming for manufacturer-grade quality, not homebrew... and we've already licensed plenty of manufacturer-spec drivers to make that happen.

          • h4rr4r

            "and we've already licensed plenty of manufacturer-spec drivers to make that happen."

            That is where I lose all interest. Yet another closed driver hell hole. Yay, lets replace the hardware when the manufacturer no longer provides binaries!

          • ConsoleOS.com

            We have committed to sharing all AOSP code improvements upstream, something we're not obligated to do... but we feel is right to do. Nearly every production Android device on the market uses blobs.

            If you don't want blobs, feel free to use homebrew (just do check the comparison chart at ConsoleOS.com first before you lock down that decision)..

            But, that said, kicking in to Console OS helps us build a team that will be improving AOSP for everyone on x86.

          • h4rr4r

            So? Everyone is well aware AOSP is apache licensed.
            Yes, it is a failing of so far every major android device. I had high hopes the intel devices would free us, but they stuck with powervr GPUs. A huge disappointment.

            Why would I do either? I can run a real linux OS and not have to deal with the problem.

            You mean paying you so you can fund licensing drivers that will soon be unsupported. Sounds great, if I wanted that model I could just buy those other devices you pointed out exist.

          • ConsoleOS.com

            And that's fine, if you're content having two identical tablets - one with Windows, and one with Android, to do the same job.

            We're focused on making Android scale better on high-performance devices. We're adding a mixed-license solution, while making sure our improvements to Android are submitted to AOSP.

            Open-source purists may be content not using Console OS, we're targeting mainstream customers that prefer stability of the best drivers in the business, with a totally new experience that encourages developers to ramp up their apps for a whole new performance delta - Android on Intel Core and other powerful desktop processors.

          • h4rr4r

            Why would I have a windows tablet? What use case exists for such a thing? There is a reason those Surfaces had to be cleared out at rock bottom prices. Don't get me wrong MS will gain traction in this market, they will buy it.

            Purist? Is that why I am typing this on a mac? My point was simply why lose the advantage of FOSS just to get some drivers. This mixed license means all the downsides of both and the upsides of neither.

            Stop with the BS. Closed drivers suck and you know it. They are never the best in the business. If they were that good they would not be too embarrassed to publish them. We see this all the time when they are opened up and vendors want to get them into the kernel. Not only are they often of low quality code wise, they are a guarantee that your device will lose support before you are ready to give it up.

          • ConsoleOS.com

            Windows tablets, at $199, are actually quite capable devices. Compare a Dell Venue 8 Pro to a Nexus 7. We're giving people the freedom to run Android on everything from Atom tablets to upcoming Core M super-tablets, the ability to have the best of both worlds.

            Closed drivers give us the freedom to give manufacturer-grade experience on a device we didn't build. Sorry if you don't like them, but we stand by that call. We're giving a new option in the industry that wasn't there before - raising Android up to be a primary PC operating system.

          • h4rr4r

            Closed drivers give you freedom?
            Talk about a bad choice of words. I wish you good luck.

          • ConsoleOS.com

            Thanks! We stand by those words - closed drivers give us the freedom to tell ordinary people their Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and graphics will "just work"

            If there is extreme demand for an open-source-only build of Console OS, we'll certainly consider it. The challenge there is not confusing average consumers.

          • h4rr4r

            Until they just don't. You left that part out. For example see all the android devices that have been stuck on old OSes due to lack of driver support.

          • ConsoleOS.com

            If we have to stop updating a machine, we'll explain why technically... unlike many device makers today.

            Speaking theoretically, if such a scenario were to happen to a specific chipset that became a blocking issue, we would likely switch over to an open-source driver (if available) and continue releases. At that point, the open-source driver ideally will be functional enough to replace the need for the closed driver.

          • greekmanx

            wow you people are hardcore I for one am excited about this project and give ConsoleOS benefit of the doubt they seem like they understand users needs and wants. They seem Like they have thought alot about what they are doing and are not just phoning it in.

          • DrewNusser

            I know you're trying to be civil, but stop feeding the troll - you have better things to do. Don't worry - most of us are excited about this, and I just backed it. Thanks for trying to make Android better.

          • h4rr4r

            It is not trolling to say something you believe.
            Trolling is trying to get an emotional response intentionally.

          • cesium

            Well some of the things you're saying aren't really in good faith, e.g., "Why would I have a windows tablet? What use case exists for such a thing?" Guess what, there are many use cases for a windows tablet for a lot of people (I use mine for drawing diagrams and such in OneNote in class), just because you can't think of one for yourself doesn't mean they don't exist.

          • h4rr4r

            They are in perfectly good faith. I would never buy a windows tablet.
            I cannot imagine that you would not be better served by other devices.

          • cesium

            "I have less than no interest in running windows unless forced to do so at work. Such devices are not allowed in my home."
            Doesn't really sound like the type of banter from someone who is not grossly biased and capable of thinking that other devices and ecosystems are actually useful to people.

            "I cannot imagine that you would not be better served by other devices."
            Guess what, there literally is nothing else for my use case. An ipad or android tablet with a stylus is an absolute joke, because their productivity software is garbage in comparison with Office and OneNote in particular (yes, even the mobile versions of Office are trash). I know that because I have an ipad with a stylus (and used to own an android tablet) and tried using it for notes. I haven't come across any other device with stylus support that can compare to the functionality of a win tablet, and I challenge you to name even one.

          • h4rr4r

            How about a laptop?
            For taking notes, handwriting sucks.

          • cesium

            If you read my post you would have noticed that I specifically mentioned "drawing diagrams." Ever tried to make diagrams with a keyboard and mouse during a fast-paced lecture? Impossible.

            I've got a windows tablet with a bt keyboard, giving me best of both worlds -- I type my notes out, and when I need to draw a diagram, I can do so with the stylus and then go back to typing asap.

          • CoreRooted

            " I would never buy a windows tablet.I cannot imagine that you would not be better served by other devices."

            As much as I love Linux, my work uses Windows as our primary desktop OS. There is nothing I or anyone else can do about it. Trying to shoehorn in Android or iOS always ends up being a nightmare. Windows Tablets fit into the ecosystem as that is what they are meant to do. With Win8/Win8.1, we can have our Surface users authenticated via AD and not have to worry about 3rd party products for email, file sharing, etc.

            Yeah, closed source drivers do suck, but we are stuck with them. Period. Linus, for all his years and years of effort (and many like him), has not been able to break that model and probably won't for years to come. It is the simple fact of capitalism. Manufacturers know people will continue to pay for closed source drivers.

            What ConsoleOS is trying to do is admirable and they are trying to work within the model rather than another failed attempt at breaking the model.

          • h4rr4r

            Authenticating other operating systems against AD is trivial.

          • CoreRooted

            Not on mobile devices, it's not. Have you had the joy of trying to shoehorn Android into an AD forest? The short answer is, you can't. You have to basically proxy all over the place to get to basic things like file shares and such (if you can get to them at all).

          • h4rr4r

            There are a great many SAMBA implementations for android.

          • CoreRooted

            Yes, but why would anyone want to shoehorn a solution rather than one that works out of the box? Again, in my personal life, I'm a huge Linux supporter. In my professional life, I don't have time to shoehorn anything. If it doesn't work quickly and with little effort needed, then it won't work in my workplace.

            SAMBA does nothing for AD authentication. I think what you are talking about is Android to connect to a CIFS share, which is awesome and all, however, does nothing for AD authentication and authorization for other resources. Chrome (and most browsers for Android) still have issues when it comes to NTLM authentication for internal websites. SSO token storage is a joke on Android (especially when trying to use MCS).

            Have you ever had to try to force Android to work in a Microsoft driven enterprise environment?

          • h4rr4r

            Who said anything about shoehorning anything? You wanted to use SMB shares, I mentioned a solution.

            If everything has to work with no effort then you can easily be replaced and do not need to be paid well.

          • CoreRooted

            I asked "Have you had the joy of trying to shoehorn Android into an AD forest?". Wanting to use SMB shares is one, small part of the issue. You should read a comment completely before responding.

            You obviously have never worked in a large, heterogeneous enterprise environment where spending time on finding workarounds instead of unified solutions are looked upon favorably. I don't get paid to try to hack things together. I get paid to deliver products to the public.

          • h4rr4r

            If you can't handle large heterogeneous environments get out of the enterprise space. People will want or need things that do not all play well together. I get paid to support the needs of this enterprise.

          • MikeOxlong

            You need to get laid. Asap.

          • h4rr4r

            My wife and I have relations regularly, thank you for your concern.

          • DrewNusser

            Okie dokie.

          • Ben Garner

            The availability of closed drivers gives the user the freedom to choose which one they want. I agree that closed driver models are not a very good thing. However, the manufacturers aren't going to change just because a tiny minority of their users want them to. The best you can do right now for most hardware is a bunch of unstable barely usable reverse-engineered drivers that lack support for important features of the hardware and lack software compatibility. I've tried using these drivers on Linux systems and unfortunately the proprietary drivers blow them out of the water. This is because these drivers are written by the people who actually designed the hardware and have access to stuff that independent FOSS driver developers lack. I'm sick of spending days configuring things on these systems and tearing my hair out scouring online forums trying to see if anyone else has even a vaguely similar problem, which is difficult with such a small user base and so many variations in software. The bottom line is that this makes for a terrible user experience. If I, a person with programming and commercial IT support experience is sick of this hacked together Frankenstein software, imagine how the average user feels. I'm all for democratization of technology and user control and understanding of how their systems work, but this is ridiculous. If you want a completely free system, go ahead. Meanwhile, everyone else and I will be using systems that actually work. Through strict dogma and rigid ideas of what is or isn't acceptable software for other users to use, you are actually hurting rather than helping the cause of user freedom.

      • Matej Mezihorak

        Anybody who will vote for Lenovo Y510p? Especially for i5-4200M version?

        • jenniferjtai

          just before I looked at the receipt ov $8130 , I
          didn't believe that my sister woz like actualy bringing in money part-time from
          there pretty old laptop. . there aunts neighbour has been doing this 4 only
          about 22 months and at present repayed the mortgage on their appartment and
          bought themselves a Chrysler . see here C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • Blendi Krasniqi

    Desktop OS with TabletUI, great idea! /s

    BTW : The video is cropped in half on mobile version of the site.

  • black

    I tried android-x86 once. It was fun for an hour...

    I don't see how this is practical.

    • ConsoleOS.com

      Console OS is quite different from Android-x86.org and we don't use the same code base. We have an installer that works with Windows Secure Boot, and is designed to be practical to switch between Windows and Console OS with Android Inside.

      • black

        Okay. But what would be so enticing about running Android on a laptop? There's also big disadvantage here... no touch display, on most laptops.

        I suppose it's targeted for a niche group of people.

        • ConsoleOS.com

          Every Intel Ultrabook today requires a multi-touch display. You can add a multitouch display to just about any existing PC for under $200. The desktop isn't disappearing, but it is becoming touch-friendly.

          Really, we're encouraging app developers to support both use cases. Low-cost non-touch laptops and what most, if not all laptops in the future will have, multi-touch displays. The developing world is a major target for us, and fusioning a free operating system with the app economy of Android, is compelling on laptops for developing nations - more durable, more reliable, and we can help drive the cost down too.

          But the ecosystem pushes back on more-for-less so often, hence we're on Kickstarter. We need the public to help make that revolution happen.

          • jdw6

            PC's are dying/dead...it's a mobile world if you hadn't
            noticed.....MS/Intel are both scrambling to catch up after
            slipping behind for about 5 years......PC's/Laptops for
            developing nations will forever be those that are 5-20 years old..

            Unless GATES/MS/Intel intend on donating newer machines
            to the developing nations themselves....!!! IMO

            Even the PC's in their businesses/factories are usually "old"
            and usually cannot be changed because the applications they
            depend on have not/and never will be updated in most cases...

      • jdw6

        so you don't use AOSP/x86 code base??? How are you running Android
        then???

  • Jeremy Lowry

    How about x64, some of us don't love Intel...

    • AMDAllDay

      Intel sucks, AMD ftw.

    • ConsoleOS.com

      So, Console OS is x64-clean. We actually shipped the first 64-bit Android device last year in our iConsole Developer Kit, so we've been 64-bit friendly for awhile (even before iOS 7).

      How much we support AMD will depend on how much our backers want us to. We can do AMD - but we need to see a significant percentage of backers wanting us to make the effort.

    • sweenish

      Modern Intel chips are x64!

  • Andrew

    Can't wait to root it :)

  • MJ

    Ummmm Just like the modern UI on Windows 8, I don't need a interface designed for a tablet/phone on my desktop or laptop PC.

    What's wrong with Android in a VM (aka Andy) and avoid the drivers issue?

    • ConsoleOS.com

      Check the comparison chart at ConsoleOS.com

      Console OS delivers OpenGL ES 3 and the performance that gets Android apps scaling up, rather than falling down, on your PC or PC Tablet/2-in-1.

      • MJ

        I would never use Android full time on my PC or laptop and don't see the need for OpenGL ES 3 performance but... What ever floats your bloat. I am sure you will get the funding as people will fund almost anything via crowd funding.

        • ConsoleOS.com

          Part of Console OS's goal is to evolve Android to do anything a modern desktop OS can do, both from the API level (like OpenGL ES 3 today, and eventually the full OpenGL 4 stack) to user-experience elements like running multiple apps simultaneously.

          Our goal is for Console OS to evolve Android into something that you would find compelling to use as your primary PC OS.

          • MJ

            I see you have a stretch goal to bring Console OS to the Surface Pros. Now that makes more sense and that should have been your first step and not your next step.

            Why one would ever want/need an OS with a touch based UI for thier PC or laptop is beyond me.

          • James T. West

            For one, its app library with apps unique to that platform.

          • jdw6

            because your expected to buy a newer PC, most today
            will be available with TouchScreen monitors....LOL

      • MJ

        Oh... Even if I wanted to fund this idea there is no guarantee it would work on my PC as I would only get a vote. Correct?

        • ConsoleOS.com

          As with any new OS, we can't guarantee compatibility with the millions of different hardware combinations out there - but it is our goal to support custom-built PCs. Check out the Hardware Voting details in our Kickstarter FAQ and in the Kickstarter comments to learn more. We're committed to going beyond the devices that we provide official support for.

      • jdw6

        OpenGL ES 3...so your using MESA OpenGL ES 3 and NOT closed
        source binary graphics drivers?

  • http://mekakiwi.blogspot.com.br/ ED-Z が あらわれた!

    Dual-Boot is not enough. We need Multi-Boot and run Android and Windows side-by-side.
    I can have my tablet running Android and boot on Windows only I need, but still running Android.
    Do you guys remember HTC Shift/Athena? I have (had) one. And swap from Windows Mobile to Vista (actually, Windows 7) with a button press was awesomely convenient.

    Can't we have this today? =(

    • ConsoleOS.com

      Our InstaSwitch initiative delivers on that long-term goal. VMs don't do the job. In the long run we're building a hypervisor atop XenGT to make that happen. But, dual-boot is step one.

      • h4rr4r

        VMs won't do the job but a Xen VM will do that job?
        You are contradicting yourself.

        • ConsoleOS.com

          XenGT allows for bare-metal GPU access to each host. That's the difference. VMs today, including pre-XenGT Xen, do not. GPU pipelining is why all the Android VMs today, are so sluggish (or don't do the GPU at all - often stuck at Android 4.0 as a result).

          • h4rr4r

            So does KVM.
            Lots of hypervisors have this support. Arm versions there of simply lag behind.

          • ConsoleOS.com

            KVM Xen doesn't work with Windows and Android - which is what most people want in terms of instant toggling on x86. Further there isn't any GPU-accelerated Android x86 KVM solution on the market - and there's a reason why, it isn't easy and it is non-trivial.

          • no

            meh

          • James T. West

            A wrapping of well-intentions with a sour, sappy troll filling underneath. Talk about being mentally deprived, h4rr4r.

          • h4rr4r

            What the heck is KVM Xen? KVM and Xen are competing virtual machines. I have run windows on KVM many times. You can even pass through the GPU.

          • ConsoleOS.com

            Apologies, typo corrected. While you can pass through the GPU on KVM to Windows, you then cannot to Android without restarting the system. Then you're back to dual-boot. XenGT resolves this by allowing both guests to have direct and complete access to the GPU without restarting... and it's what we're working on building InstaSwitch atop.

          • h4rr4r

            That sounds like a security nightmare.
            I have less than no interest in running windows unless forced to do so at work. Such devices are not allowed in my home.

            One solution is to snapshot the VM, power it off then fire up the other one also from a snapshot. Assuming you have enough IO that can be pretty much invisible to users.

          • ConsoleOS.com

            You don't have that kind of IO on an Intel Atom "Bay Trail" tablet with an eMMC flash drive. You don't have that kind of IO on most PCs without as much delay as dual-booting cold in many cases. It just is a solution we're saying no to - we're aiming to build InstaSwitch atop XenGT.

          • h4rr4r

            I wish you good luck. I just don't think android and windows can coexist on the same device, not for technical reasons but for business reasons.

            I will admit I have a bias against Xen for two reasons, it is not the kernel VM and its relationship to Citrix.

          • James T. West

            Android isn't exactly security paradise itself. Stop playing games of double talk. If you want true granite strength security, you would be a Blackberry or iOS user so you would rid us of your 40 year old man who lives in his parent's basement attitude.

          • h4rr4r

            None of those have any impact on letting a guest write directly to real hardware being a security issue.

  • jonzey231

    They've already confirmed compatibility with the Surface line, so I'm good. 😊

    • ConsoleOS.com

      To be clear, Surface Pro compatibility is our stretch goal. We need to raise $125,000 to have the funds needed to ramp up and start coding for Surface Pro's unique silicon. Unlike most PCs, Surface Pro has multiple chipsets that no other PC or PC Tablet uses.

      Also, we can't support Surface RT. The FAQ on our Kickstarter explains more in-depth as to why (hint: Microsoft).

      • jonzey231

        Wow you're awesome for replying to me that quickly. And yeah it was even a bit janky installing Ubuntu to the Surface so I definitely know what you mean. But its nice to have the accurate info. Thanks again.

      • http://thedangerbrain.com/ Alfonso Surroca

        I hope it meets the stretch goal then. Surface Pro (well, and other ultrabooks) is basically what Android on PC is made for: A full Windows PC with a tablet formfactor and Android at the ready is perfection.

  • ConsoleOS.com

    So, to clear up the "murky" on Google Play app importing. Admittedly we don't have that in our FAQ.

    You'll get an APK from our web site, it will install on your Google Play phone or tablet. That app will then let you pick what apps you want to sync to your machines running Console OS. We'll then beam them into the cloud and then make them available to your Console OS PCs (and PC Tablets/2-in-1's).

    We are working on making updates (optionally) sync automatically - though that may not make v1.0.

    And thanks for the coverage!

    • h4rr4r

      Assuming "beam them into the cloud" means copy the apk up and back down that would be likely illegal.

      • ConsoleOS.com

        Several other solutions do this today, none have met objections from Google. We are maintaining strict adherence to Android Compatibility to ensure all your Google Play licensed apps keep working on only Android devices. Console OS is 100% Android.

        And if Google were to object, we have other straightforward options - it really would be of no benefit to anyone.

        • David Spivey

          So how can apps with a Google Play store license verification check be validated? For example, DroidMote Server? When it is launched, it tries to validate the purchase on the Play Store. If your OS has no Play Store, how does this validation function? I ask specifically about this app because it already supports x86, and I own it.

          • ConsoleOS.com

            Devices that have a hard GMS dependency (like a license check) will be opt-in by developers. Much like Nokia X and Amazon Appstore, we'll be contacting developers directly and offering them the option of syncing their license.

            And, likewise, we also will allow developers to opt-out of Console OS app sync if they chose to, for whatever reason.

          • David Spivey

            Well, thanks for the quick information, but that's a major let-down. I don't see how hundreds - nay - thousands of developers and apps that offer paid versions would choose to use a third-party validation scheme, when the target audience would be small. If the developer of an app on the Play Store (such as the developer of DroidMote Server) doesn't already have their app on the Amazon Appstore (which he doesn't), I don't think they'd be bothered to add support for something that would reach FAR fewer users than Amazon.

          • ConsoleOS.com

            We're building our own app store, called the Console Store. Part of that process will allow for quickly opting in to syncing existing license-check-required purchases for Google Play users in that scenario (which again, only affects <10% of apps).

            We can't share specifics on that just yet - we'll be rolling out Console Store specifics later this year.

            We aren't going to make it hard for developers, but details on our licensing engine haven't been published just yet. We're committed to making it easy for developers, and for users, to bring all the apps to Console OS.

          • h4rr4r

            I think he is trying to point out that amazon makes it easy and there are many developers who do not bother with that store due to its low user count. Your new store will of course start with a user count much lower.

          • ConsoleOS.com

            Amazon Appstore works great on Console OS... we know we're the newcomer - the Console Store is aimed at encouraging app developers to scale, and enhance their apps for the horsepower of Android on powerful x86 desktop-class processors.

          • h4rr4r

            Why does it matter that amazon appstore works, if the app the user wants is only in Google play?

          • ConsoleOS.com

            Again, we would employ the techniques described above. Just clarifying the comments above that may have been interpreted to mean Amazon Appstore had some ARM dependency or something else that would block its use on Console OS.

            In addition to employing dynamic ARM translation, our internal goal is 95% of Play Store apps to be compatible and sync successfully.

          • strauzo

            No Google Play compatibilty for purchased app = total failure before you start. The license check not affect only the 10% but all 100% paid apps. New app store bring only fragmentation and will never have the support of Google. No Google support = no Android.

          • ConsoleOS.com

            No, it doesn't. We've successfully imported and tested thousands of paid Play Store apps, right in our own labs.

            Android is an open-source project. We're building a startup to directly challenge your last sentence from ever happening.

          • strauzo

            What ? What did you say ? That paid app can work without Google Play ? Let me know only one. When you buy an app from Google Play the license is linked to your google account and when you want check or verify the license you need google play that can also cache the license for some times. 10% of what ? You are writing many nosense. Please do not continue to cheat people.

          • Tony

            Because they are Android-compatible. Google Play Android apps, dating back to the Android Market license, are licensed to run on any Android device that is Android certified. They (apparently) are are certifying themselves as Android compatible, something which the OHA charter allows.

        • Daniel Marcus

          That isn't quite correct. The apps today function much in the same way that legal DVD copy software does. The function is strictly an APK backup should you lose the original app. It generally does not work for paid apps, and is certainly illegal to redistribute it, even if it's from one of your Android devices to another.

          IMO, you would be much better off allowing a simple GApps installer, much like CyanogenMod and other ROMs do. In this way, you don't distribute it, and users can still run Play Services directly. I believe if you contact PA or one of the other GApps maintainers, you could probably get more information on the agreement.

          Also, most of Linux's drivers should compile just fine as modules against the Android kernel. It's not small, (you can see the size of the kernel package in Linux distributions like *buntu and Fedora), but it is certainly possible for you to include the majority of the most useful drivers in a base build. In particular, the open source Radeon graphics driver works wonderfully with Android.

  • Kurama91

    looks great

  • Dean

    Any further news on the AMD optimised Bluestacks? Was meant to be out ages ago.

  • hp420

    If it has to be built for each individual machine, what about those of us who prefer to build our own machine? Will there be an option for us?

    • ConsoleOS.com

      Yes, we will have builds for system builders that have broader hardware support. It won't be tuned for your specific PC, but it will still deliver a great Android experience.

      We'll be relying on community feedback to help make system builder/generic builds of Console OS awesome.

      • hp420

        Wonderful, thank you!! The idea of having to buy a big box machine to use this sent a chill down my spine

      • Ryan

        Basically I'm in the same boat. Grant it, my system is much older, being first built probably close to 8 years by now. I stopped buying pre-built systems after constant issues with them and figured it cheaper to buy similar, if not better, parts online or some digging around.

        The basics though is that you have either Intel/AMD setups, Intel/nVidia, AMD/AMD, or AMD/nVidia. Though, most people building computers will usually either choose AMD/AMD or Intel/nVidia, due to some weird compatibility between certain things. Though I imagine there are other things about certain chipsets for CPU's where the GPU I think can be more generic; considering that GPU drivers usually cover several different lines of GPU chipsets.

  • http://www.failuretodream.com/ lostboardmayhem

    It is a cool idea and I would love to use it, but I don't have a machine on the list since I build my own computers.

    • ConsoleOS.com

      We will support system builders! We just are only committing to supporting a couple dozen systems that are strategically important so we can keep growing.

      • http://www.failuretodream.com/ lostboardmayhem

        Great!

  • Samil Kale

    I would love this, if it had a ChromeOS like launcher!

    • ConsoleOS.com

      Console OS will have a very desktop-friendly launcher that we haven't shown off yet, but we'll also have a Pure Android mode, which disables it completely and leaves you with an AOSP experience - your choice.

  • Cornel Ungureanu

    I wish them the best. The differences from alternatives is insane

  • sweenish

    Despite the haters, I'll be following this project.

    Sure, not all apps will be great with KB/M, but I've always wanted to at least run Android on my PC for kicks and this looks like one of the more integrated solutions. If the speed promise is true, I'll be all over this.

    • ConsoleOS.com

      We support most HID-compatible multi-touch displays too. They're surprisingly affordable today.

      Any PC can gain touch - we're just giving people an OS worth adding touch to a desktop. We already are dogfooding on those today with Intel NUC desktops running Core i5 processors.

      • ccccc

        i asked about this before a few weeks back but don't think i ever got a reply or saw this info posted elsewhere. do you have any plans on incorporating pc game controllers? its even possible to use ps3/xbox controllers on a pc, but i'm not sure if you guys have any plans to enable pc controllers to be used with consoleOs. using a pc controller with some android games would be sweet!

        • ConsoleOS.com

          Yes, we will definitely support lots of gaming controllers! We aren't releasing specific models just yet.

          We'll see how our Surface Pro stretch goal goes, but our methodology on controller support is, what we do there should benefit other Android devices, too.

  • http://www.RobGrijseels.com Rob Grijseels

    I think the name is a bit confusing.
    It has nothing to do with commandline interfaces but its called Console OS.

    • ConsoleOS.com

      Who said we won't have command line stuff!?

      ;)

      (Not that you'll ever need to use a command line interface with Console OS, but we'll have one for the geeks out there). Console OS's double entendre comes from our dual-effort to make Android computer-console friendly, and to leverage it to build iConsole, our Android gaming console into a true mainstream gaming console.

      • primalxconvoy

        If i could wipe my old laptop easily and replace it with this, so that it boots up only with your os (completely removing windows from my old laptop) then I'm interested. It would be great to breath new life into my ten year old laptop (Erich takes about fifteen minutes to boot up and then overheats...)

        • rob

          why don't you just try android-x86? It works really nice and you can test it as a live-iso from an usb-stick without installing anything first. My old netbook works far better with android-x86 than with windows...

      • Jesse Afolabi

        will multitasking like on a traditional desktop environment be tailored into console OS if yes i'd be happy to support.

  • http://www.sigtechnicalinsulation.co.uk/ Anthony Cogswell

    I can't wait to get behind this!

  • Guest

    For 10 bux? And licensed for all my laptops and PCs if it can be supported (for personal use only?)? OK count me in. Not bad. Kind of hesitant because of the experience with

  • kpjimmy

    For 10 bux, I can't really fault it to try it. That's two starbucks coffees I can live without lol.

    • DrewNusser

      Haha, that's right where I stand. If it sucks, it sucks. If not, great!

  • RTWright

    To be quite honest, I'd rather run Ubuntu than anything Android on my PC. For a lot of reasons. Mainly due to support of major software industry, mainstream drivers ( I do not believe in Closed Drivers period so don't go there with me ). Also don't like how Android is so overly modular about how it operates, it's why I wont use Chrome as a browser. The way it loads programs and keeps them loaded in the background is far worse than Windows. Also the ability to support the newest hardware out would be extremely difficult for an OS coming out now. Linux has die-hard devs that are constantly on top of updating the kernels and are not closed off about it. Windows and Mac have too much support from both Hardware and Software industries and none of those corporations will sign off on a off-shoot brand of Android. Now if Google itself was putting this out, it would be very different from that end, as they have so much support from major Software corporations that it would be insanely easy for them to pull it off. I'd still not use it though over Windows.

    I like Android, but it would have to be totally redesigned from the ground up almost to make it a real desktop OS, so that it could be used properly. I would love to see a great Android OS for the Desktop, I wish you the best of luck in this venture, but I don't see the current incarnation as a answer to the Desktop OS community.

  • Garry Ip

    Thanks, finally I have a chance to get rid of that advert-packed Bluestack

    The gentleman or lady underneath has a point there, but sorry I've got too addicted to Android games and Ubuntu cannot run android games without V-Box-ing an Android-x86 based distro either (which is painfully slow)

    Backing the project =)

  • cory burke

    This sounds really interesting. I'm going to check out the Kickstarter page for this project. Thanks for all the hard work! BTW, people like h4rr4r make me hate reading through comment threads on tech sites.

    • jdw6

      ya...your right...I hate people who actually look at
      the details and ask questions....I always just wing it when
      all the "buzz words" are there then kick myself after the fact
      cause I didn't question the details first....such is life...

  • Wesley Modderkolk

    I'm not really sure why I would want Android on my desktop.

    • ConsoleOS.com

      Android can do anything traditional Linux can (since, well, it is Linux). Where it's different, is that Android happens to be the most popular OS in the world today. More Android devices are powered up each day with Android, than any other OS.

      We're evolving Android to close the loop and bring everything full-circle - the first Linux experience that is loved by the world, and scales up to desktop hardware and traditional keyboard-and-mouse usability.

      • jdw6

        correction please:

        More PHONES are powered up each day with Android, than any other OS.

        NOT DEVICES....

    • primalxconvoy

      Because the ease of use and speed of booting the system up and running apps. I can type a document and "share" it to dropbox or via email way more easily and quickly than via a pc. The keyboard and internal language settings are quicker to change, too amongst other reasons.

      The one thing that's lacking is true windowed features (although it can kind of do it) and full MS Office (although the pre-Google version of Quick Office Pro is almost as good).

      • Wesley Modderkolk

        The idea of "sharing", I can agree on that. Although Windows 8 does that fairly well already.

        The limiting idea here is that you are running a mobile OS on a giant screen(or even multiple screens) with no real capability of running your apps in a window. That is why it imo does not work, it lacks multitasking in the way a desktop does so, and this exact issue is the reason why Windows 8 is having trouble finding a large userbase and is the reason why Microsoft is making apps run windowed.

  • http://steamcommunity.com/id/metallinatus Metallinatus

    As I said some time ago.... OpenGL is the future!

  • Cuvis

    Interesting idea. However, until it can support arbitrary PCs, I'll have to pass. With the vast PC ecosystem, anything limited to just certain models is doomed to failure, to say nothing of those of us who build our own PCs.

    Not to mention, there's already an Android x86 project, and it's not nearly so restricted.

    http://www.android-x86.org/

    • ConsoleOS.com

      You can see a comparison chart at ConsoleOS.com or our Kickstarter page. We WILL support arbitrary PCs, we just can't commit to supporting everything in your particular PC day-one. Hence, why we are committing to individual iconic machines to show people that there will be dozens of multi-touch PCs and PC tablets that "just work"

  • Vahid Merkel

    Console quality games on PC?
    Ugh. The peasantry is strong with this one.

  • Santiago Moneta

    Could be this a solution for old PCs? (acer 1410-2039)

  • dscm

    This project is a fork of Intel's Android-IA project which only supports x86 systems that

    boot uEFI on GPT disk...in other words, systems that have been built/sold within the last 1-18 months.

    Microsoft and Intel need to move/sell more product as they have been late to the "mobile" direction

    of the market for the last 5 years, and are now playing catch-up....what better way than have someone

    do what others have been doing with AOSP since 2008????

    Android-x86(android-x86.org) is a free open source project that has been doing what this Console OS needs

    funding for, and doing it very well since 2009....they already run on a multitude of tablets,laptops,

    desktops some as new as 2014(MS Surface Pro) and some as old as pre2008 IBM Thinkpad's....

    They have come a long way since the days when they had to tailor their builds to specific devices and

    now offer their builds as "generic" in that they are very much like any Linux distribution, except the

    builds are for Android on x86 desktops, laptops, tablets. Android-x86 has test builds available from

    their download site which you can try on your device at anytime, just read the documentation for putting

    your test build on a USB flash drive to test on your x-86 desktop/laptop/tablet.

    You can check them out at the following URL's.

    android-x86.org

    ---------------

    http://www.android-x86.org/

    AOSP RELEASED downloads

    -----------------------

    http://www.android-x86.org/download

    android-x86 FORUMS

    ------------------

    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/android-x86

    android-x86 supported/tested devices:

    -------------------------------------

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjREKzGKF9TDdEd1MW9SR1pSeGdzbUk0RTZuV1Z2SVE#gid=0

    • ConsoleOS.com

      You can check out our comparison chart with Android-x86.org at the Kickstarter page - we are doing a lot more than forking Android from Intel (we even cover Androdi-IA on the chart at our Kickstarter page, too).

      We are sharing all our improvements to AOSP upstream, it's something we feel is just the right thing to do in order to help keep Android open-source. We admire Android-x86.org, and you'll find people from our team helping out on there.

      That all said, Console OS is meant more for production-grade Android for the everyman and everywoman. Something any PC maker (or PC user) can drop in and ship with the "it just works" durability they're looking for.

  • kgptzac

    This is an interesting project, but the lack of Google Play Store is gonna be the biggest hit to the "convenience to users" which is most of raison detre for the project.

    I know it's not the responsibility of Console OS, but I want to ensure that I can sideload GP Store and the framework before I want to back this project.

  • NF

    I think the interface is a challenge. I'm not sure if I want my laptop to have 3 navigation buttons. I'd rather have a more sophisticated switcher like a taskbar always at the bottom (except games). I'd also rather use a home key shortcut rather than continually using the mouse.

    Will this OS be more touch focused or mouse/keyboard focused?

    • primalxconvoy

      Android already supports mouse and keyboard. My phone is connected to a hub which allows mouse and keyboard and it's connected to external memory and a monitor and speakers, too. All my standard apps support the mouse already.

  • SomeUser

    Like others, I think the lack of Google pay services will be a big limitation. You need to seriously consider the possibility to install the gapps as we do it in our roms (as someone already said, you can talk with the PA team, for example) instead of writing your own solution.

    • primalxconvoy

      I already bought an ouya. Without Google Play, it was DOA. This will be too. A shame.

    • ConsoleOS.com

      Kindle Fire (and Fire TV, and Nokia X), and now Console OS are really changing that equation. Thanks to Gradle, most app developers are adding built-in Play Store Services checks to their apps and silently bypassing if not available. And, where there's something like Maps API that is needed, we'll have our own APIs.

      Plus, we'll never stand in the way of Google Play working on Console OS. No matter how it gets on there (from you, from Google, or from a partner OEM).

  • rstat1

    So you rag on Andy and Bluestacks for virtualizing Android, then turn around and advertise a feature that does the exact same thing. Seems legit...

  • A Popov

    Do you know that OpenGL ES 3.0 doesn't fully utilize all capabilities of desktop GPUs? Even OpenGL ES 3.1 announced in Android L is quite limited compared to full profile desktop graphic APIs. Android team even had to invent a thing called "Android Extension Pack" to fully utilize capabilities of Tegra K1 which are beyond of OpenGL ES 3.1 specs. But you, you propose to cripple a notebook by installing OS w/ limited capabilities onto it. Why should I buy 100% of hardware and use only 50% of its capabilities?
    Example: Intel 4000 GPUs are capable of running Call Of Duty and stuff like that at somewhat acceptable framerate with low quality, with all DX10 (DX11) glory and performance. Whilst it is possible to create main modern (*cough* next-gen) effects (DOF, bloom, MRTs, some implementations of HDR rendering pipeline) with OpenGL ES 3.0, with full profile OpenGL/DirectX you can do this and even more in way more efficient ways.
    Explanation "but this is ANDROID" is not good enough. FFS, Android is OS for mobile devices, and Windows / MacOS / most Linux distros are desktop OSes.

    • ConsoleOS.com

      We're excited about the Android Extension Pack and other new innovations that will go beyond OpenGL ES 3 and deliver full OpenGL 4. We can do OpenGL 4 in Console OS, and we're looking forward to sitting down with Google to discuss such topics in the future.

      You can read more about that stuff in our post-Google I/O project update on our Kickstarter updates section.

      • A Popov

        OK then. Good to see that you want to use desktop features of desktop computers :)

  • http://daverix.net Daverix

    I think installing the upcoming ChromeOS is a better solution. It can run Android apps as windows together with all the webapps!

  • S Mahmood Alawi

    Chrome OS will now support native android apps,
    Wouldn't that defeat the whole purpose of this project?
    It will also have sync'ed notifications and probably better android app support since it will be official by google.

    (personal opinion, i'd rather have Chrome OS than Android on my PC)
    as it stands, the only thing stopping me from using it is wifi driver.

  • Dave

    What do you mean? I use Bluestacks and have no problems. Run several apps at the same time and there are no performance problems on my RIG.

  • Tony

    People are free to try stuff out - it's well known the bugs with Android-x86.org. Go burn a live USB and see for yourself. Don't trust me, go try it on your PC!

    • jdw6

      ever see an open source project without bugs???

      ever see a closed source project/OS without bugs???

      it's part of the business, you either wait until it's fixed or
      find the solution yourself....

      I have been using android-x86 / android-ia since 2012, they
      each have their place and bugs, just like MS/LINUX/MAC/etc.

      Apple has bugs / google has bugs / MS has bugs / etc.
      that's the real world, deal with it or just don't use them....

  • kosiara

    Has someone succeeded in running Console OS in virtualbox?

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