Jide Technology, the former Google employees who struck out on their own to make their very own software company, have now released a new version of Android with a twist. This new version of the Android OS is designed to run on a desktop PC and includes full mouse support and even windows.
The operating system, known as Remix OS, is a highly modified version of Android, but it includes many features not found on Android but some that you would expect on a normal desktop PC. For example, users can run apps in either full screen or in windows, and all these open programs appear in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen. The operating itself has been optimized for a mouse or a trackpad and even gives users access to right-click menus, assuming the apps support them.
Remix OS first appeared on tablets last year with the release of a new tablet that looked much like a Microsoft Surface. Today it is also available on a lightweight desktop as well. However, now Jide is taking it up a notch by releasing Remix OS for all desktop and laptop PC’s.
There are a few catches, however. Currently, the PC version is only in alpha stages and is designed primarily for early adopters and developers. In one of the strangest moves, you need a USB 3.0 flash drive and a 3.0 port on your computer in order to install it. This will limit the installs to PCs that are fairly new, so don’t think you can use it to get a little more life out of an aging PC, at least just yet.
So far there is no word on how well it runs in a virtual machine, if at all, but I plan on giving it a try using Virtual Box later tonight. If I get it to run, I will update this article with what I found.
If you do meet those rather restrictive requirements, then you can pick up what you need for your installation from the Jide website. Just remember, this version is meant for those who like to experiment. This means that you may find some things don’t work as you expect them to or at all, for that matter. It should be worth noting, too, that most apps for Android are optimized for touch and not for the point and click of a mouse. This means that not every app will work as you may hope using this style of interface.
Still, it’s a good step in the right direction. Google hasn’t shown much interest until recently of merging Android and Chrome OS, their desktop operating system. For now at least, this is the one way you have to transform your desktop into an Android device that is almost fully functional. Just remember that right now it is still for testing and development purposes only.
What do you think? Would you like to see a version of Android come to the desktop PC? I for one am excited about it. I just hope I can get a virtualized copy up and running so I can start playing with it.