You can now run a desktop version of Android on your Mac or PC using the brand new Samsung DeX app.
It’s free to use and plays nicely with your computer’s existing keyboard and mouse. But there is a big catch.
DeX is one of Samsung’s more brilliant features — one I’ve been wishing Apple would steal for iOS. It turns your Galaxy smartphone into a desktop computer running a scaled-up version of Android.
Some big apps support desktop mode in DeX, like Adobe Acrobat Reader, Photoshop, Skype, and the entire Microsoft Office suite. And everything else will run as a mobile app in DeX mode.
With the new DeX app for Mac and Windows, you no longer need to disconnect your monitor, keyboard, and mouse from an existing machine.
DeX comes to Mac and PC
You might be wondering why you would want to use DeX if you already have a Mac or PC available. Well, as Samsung points out, it’s ideal for working with files you have stored on your smartphone.
It’s also great for running Android apps that aren’t available on Mac or PC on a bigger screen. And Samsung’s latest devices play games a lot better than low-end computers do.
But it has one big limitation right now.
You need a Galaxy Note 10
The DeX app is currently compatible only with the new Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+.
Samsung hasn’t stated whether it will be opening it up to other handsets in the future, but for now, you’ll need its latest flagship phablet to take advantage of DeX on your existing computer.
If you’ve ordered a Note 10, you can download the DeX app from Samsung’s website. It’s compatible with Windows 7, Windows 10, and macOS 10.13 or later.
How to use DeX without a Note 10
You can still take advantage of DeX on the Galaxy S10 and other recent Samsung devices. All you need is a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, and a DeX-compatible dock to connect them to your phone.