Modern flagship phones have grown more powerful than one could’ve imagined a few years ago. Their ascent has fueled the development of features like Samsung DeX, which tweaks the phone’s UI to imitate a classic desktop and open windowed apps. These modes have so far been restricted to stationary desk setups as they require a monitor along with a keyboard and mouse to function. The two big South Korean brands—Samsung and LG—apparently want you to take the experience wherever you go thanks to portable monitors they're currently working on. Read More
LG’s 2019 flagship lineup recently began receiving their Android 10 builds packed with goodies like full gesture navigation and the December 2019 security patch. One feature that remained obscure without even a mention in the changelog was the built-in desktop mode, discovered by Juan Carlos Bagnell (SomeGadgetGuy). The implementation appears to be a close sibling of Samsung’s DeX, minus the fancy branding. Read More
There sure are a lot of gadgets around. Consumers today own laptops, desktops, tablets, televisions, e-readers, smartphones, smartwatches, smart speakers, smart displays, smart TVs, and smart everything-elses in myriad combinations. If you’re economically fortunate enough, you might own at least one of each of these categories of products, and for some categories, probably more than one.
As much as I delight in this abundance of gadgetry, sometimes I take a step back and think, isn’t this a bit much? Not because of some penchant for minimalism or an anti-consumerist attitude, but because of all the overlap. So many of these devices do the same things. Read More
Android has always been open to desktop modes, but so far, this has only come to fruition in the form of manufacturer customizations like Samsung DeX, custom ROMs such as Remix Singularity, and other individual solutions. In Q Beta, the OS is finally adding standardized, native support for this option. Developer Daniel Blandford took the opportunity and has built the first desktop launcher that takes advantage of this. Read More
Several manufacturers have looked at solutions to turn phones into full-featured workstations, the most recent one being Samsung with DeX. Sadly, most of these required a costly dock to connect to external monitors, keyboards and mice, which led to limited usage. Since the release of the Note 9, Samsung got rid of the need to use a cradle and let users directly connect the handset to a display using the built-in USB-C port, which made it easier to use the device as an actual computer. However, since the solution is specific to Samsung, apps have to be optimized specifically for DeX to work best when used in desktop mode, or would otherwise just be regular windowed Android apps. Read More
Jide's Remix OS is all about offering Android apps with a desktop interface, with a bonus of relatively cheap mobile hardware. And while the company has been expanding its reach into more retail products, the latest project it's showing off is probably its most ambitious yet. The "Singularity" system allows users to plug their phone into a monitor, connect a mouse and keyboard, and run the familiar Remix desktop interface while the phone is still operating in its standard Android mode. Read More