Windows 10 Continuum but for Android: Jide aims to turn your phone into a PC

Can Jide's Remix OS on Mobile deliver the dream of one device to power all your computing needs, from mobile to desktop, and the TV?

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Android phone users will get a familiar desktop environment and the ability to interact with Android apps, games, and productivity tools via a keyboard and mouse.

Image: Jide

Jide, the maker of a Windows-like version of Android for PCs called Remix OS, is launching a new app that turns your Android phone into a PC.

Remix OS has already won many fans by blurring the line between mobile and desktop. Last year Jide released Android-based Remix OS for Windows PC and Mac, which enabled Android apps to run on desktop hardware in an interface reminiscent of Windows 7, featuring a familiar file manager and taskbar, and the ability to run apps in windows.

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Now Jide is releasing a new product called Remix OS on Mobile, or ROM, which retains Remix OS's current capabilities, only it's powered by the smartphone rather than desktop hardware.

Microsoft has similar ambitions with Windows 10 Continuum, but it's limited by the small size of the Windows 10 Mobile hardware ecosystem. Canonical's take was called Convergence for Ubuntu.

Jide calls its Continuum-like feature Singularity, which repositions Remix OS's original capabilities as 'PC Mode'. It also features a TV mode when connecting to a large display.

"Dock your phone with Remix Singularity into a monitor and experience everything that Remix OS has to offer," says Jide.

Jide's co-founder David Ko told The Verge that ROM will be "close to stock Android" on a smartphone, while PC mode can be activated at the home or office.

Users will get a familiar desktop environment but can interact with Android apps, games, and productivity tools via a keyboard and mouse.

While Microsoft and Canonical have only achieved modest results with their efforts, Ko points out that the number of Android users and apps offers it a massive advantage. ROM will also be a free app.

And Jide has its eye on the billions of users yet to come online, for example, people in developing markets where Android dominates and a smartphone is often the primary device. The product could help this market save on hardware costs but, as The Verge notes, it's less likely to appeal to wealthier consumers who've got multiple devices anyway.

One catch is that users will need to side-load the Google Play Store, but once that's done they'll have access to all Android apps.

Jide plans to release ROM in the second half of 2017.

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