Android has long been available on desktops in some form, but it has never been done right. That’s going to change later this month with Remix OS, a platform that brings Android to almost any Mac and PC — and makes it usable by adding a familiar desktop interface.
Most other Android-for-desktop solutions have put Google’s platform inside a window in an existing operating system, so you get the same user interface and experience you would expect on an Android tablet. But Remix OS replaces Windows or OS X — and it does it well.
You install it on a USB and boot directly from that. It’s compatible with Intel and AMD processors, so it runs on almost any machine, and unlike other solutions, it has a dedicated desktop user interface just like the operating system you’re already used to.
That means that when you open an app, it doesn’t take up the whole screen like it would on an Android tablet; it opens in its own window like any other desktop program. This allows you to use Chrome alongside Word, or Google Maps, or YouTube, or just about any other Android app.
Remix OS, which was founded by three ex-Google employees, comes with Google Play Services right out of the box, so you get seamless access to the Play Store, and all other Google apps — as well as any others designed to run on Android.
And because Remix OS runs from a USB stick, you can take it anywhere. Still not impressed? Perhaps the price tag will get you going.
Remix OS is totally free to download and use. You don’t have to pay a penny. If you want to, you can buy the $70 Remix Mini, which is essentially a tiny PC powered by Remix OS. But if you already have a desktop, a USB stick and some free time is all you need to get set up.
Remix OS will be available to download on January 12 from jide.com.