Connecting a PC to a television isn't exactly a revolutionary idea. Ditto for a mobile device - it's harder to do now that dedicated HDMI ports are gone, but streaming screens and content via Chromecast has sort of filled the gap. Jide, the company behind the intriguing Android-as-desktop Remix OS products, is trying to take that rather niche idea mainstream with its latest hardware. The Remix IO is a gadget that's equally comfortable on your desktop or sitting inside your entertainment center. It's up on Kickstarter now for as little as $99. Read More
The idea of a smartphone that magically turns into a full PC has been something of a pipedream for a while now. Motorola tried it with its Atrix laptop dock, Canonical is trying something similar with its Ubuntu Unity phone OS that can dock into a monitor. Even Microsoft is giving it a go with Windows Phone devices that can dock into a slimmed-down ARM Windows environment. The latest attempt with an Android base comes from "Maru OS," the brainchild of developer Preetam D'Souza. Read More
Despite Google's late attempts to compartmentalize its mobile operating system, the open source nature of Android remains one of its biggest strengths. Without it we wouldn't have marvelous projects like CM13 on (relatively) ancient Barnes & Noble hardware, or various Android-powered console emulators, or a hundred million $60 Walgreens tablets crowding Craigslist. (OK, that last one isn't marvelous, but you get my point.) And we wouldn't have Jide's Remix OS, an attempt to create a desktop-style operating system on the bones of Android. Remix is now on its third incarnation, and unlike the original I-Can-Certainly-Believe-It's-Not-A-Surface tablet or the recent and lamentably underpowered "desktop," this one is completely free. Read More
Android isn't a desktop operating system, they say. Who's they? Not Jide. This company sees the inside of a PC as the ideal location for that green little bugdroid. Not long ago it released a low-powered PC running an experimental version of Android adapted to desktops. Now that software is available to download directly from Jide's website, which you can then flash to an Intel-based PC of your choice. Read More
I like Android. There, I said it. Sometimes I feel so attached that I wish I could use the platform on my laptop as well. I've done most of my blogging for the past few years from a Chromebook, so I'm used to accepting constraints.
The folks at Jide apparently had the same desire, because they managed to adapt much of the software to a traditional desktop interface. The end result was surprisingly well-done. The problem is that the Remix Mini, Jide's desktop PC with a disappointing 1.2GHz Allwinner A53 processor, could not deliver more than a slow and janky experience. Read More
Android is many things. A mobile operating system, a tool for smart watches and set-top boxes, and much more. But one of the things it most certainly is not is a desktop OS... at least in its current form. That said, it's also the world's biggest piece of open-source software, so when Jide decided to make what it calls "the world's first true Android PC," they were more than free to do so. Whether or not it's a good idea is a subject for discussion... and this review.
With the Remix Mini, you get a tiny Roku-sized box that, at least technically, works like a desktop PC. Read More