Remix OS is the Android variant that has impressed us as installed on the Remix Ultra Tablet and Remix Mini. The latter is a tiny puck-like device that becomes an Android desktop system with a display, keyboard, and mouse plugged in. Despite being inexpensive ($69.99 from Jide, lower online at other retailers), the Remix Mini with access to all Android apps in the Google Play store has been a reasonable way to bring Android to the desktop. That ended with the latest update to Remix OS for the Mini which has seen access to Google Play go away.
Remix OS is designed to work like a desktop OS, and scales Android to better fit bigger screens. It looks and works much like Windows 7, with taskbar, file manager, and windowed app execution.
The Remix Mini recently received an update to Remix OS with a big function removed. The new version has access to Google Play removed, a first for the Remix Mini. This eliminates the ability to install any Android app in the store, and run many apps by Google. Users can now only add apps released in a version compatible with the Mini distributed through non-Google sources.
This makes the pool of apps that can be used much smaller, and many apps are no longer available. According to Jide, Remix Mini owners should not update the current version of the OS to avoid losing Google Play access. Losing access to Google Play also means losing various Google apps that previously were installed with Remix OS.
"If you choose to skip the update, you will continue with your current Remix OS experience, which includes Google applications. However, you will not be able to receive any future updates or bug fixes OTA."
OEMs must license Google Play access from Google at some cost and it appears that is no longer the case for the Remix Mini. There is no reason to remove such basic functionality unless Google put its foot down with Jide.