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Andromium turns your smartphone into a desktop PC


Is it a phone? A desktop? It's both

Remember the Motorola Atrix? It was a smartphone that doubled as the guts of a desktop PC when you popped it in a dock. It was a neat idea, but didn't really take off. Now a new start-up is having another crack in the form of Andromium.

The phone in your pocket is probably about as powerful as a desktop PC, so the theory goes. So why not harness that power and not waste money on separate machines? Instead, just dock your smartphone and it'll handle all the tasks of a desktop. Add a keyboard and mouse, and you're away.

You'll need to download the Andromium app too.

The dock features three USB ports, so you can plug in accessories, and a power cord, so your phone will always be charged.

It runs its own operating system called Andromium OS. When in desktop mode, your handset can still take calls, text messages and push notifications, so you won't miss out because you're browsing on the big screen.

It's designed with the Samsung Galaxy S and Note lines in mind, though the S5 doesn't fit at the moment because of the USB port cover. But the company is looking into how to make it work.

It's also adding support for the HTC One (M7 and M8), Nexus 4, 5, and 6.

The company has raised over $12,000 of a $100,000 goal on Kickstarter. If successful, it should start shipping in January.

It's a good idea, especially now the likes of the Galaxy Note 4 pack 3GB of RAM. But we'll reserve judgement until we see it in the flesh.

Read more: iMac Retina 5K Display preview

Gordon Zheng

December 16, 2014, 3:51 pm

Check our updates! This week we are releasing new phones for official support and many cool things are coming :)


December 17, 2014, 12:27 am

Hi Gordon that's great idea however I personally use my S5 as a desktop using only bluetooth keyboard and mhl cabel with only Android as OS. So my question is will your software work without the docking as I don't need it. Also when the software will be available and if you need beta testers i'm very good in discovering bugs. Project is great though

Gordon Zheng

December 17, 2014, 1:28 am

Hello Hristofor, S5 works with bluetooth. Andromium is expecting keyboard, mouse and video out in order to run. It doesnt matter if it is USB, bluetooth or wireless.
For that you can use the $10 software package. The software will be released early February/late January for software backers.
Please keep the questions coming as other backer are also learning from your questions! :)


December 17, 2014, 1:04 pm

On my S5 I have a problem my browser run in 640x360 resolution will your software be able to actually use the fullHd res actually making the phone a PC for me the biggest problem is the use of the screen real estate for browsing, facebook. Next will your os have some sort of right button implementation as for me the default use in adroid for right button as back button is confusing ? Different keyboard layouts alt+shift switching as the current alt+space is also confusing. However if this software is using fullHD res for browsing i will gladly pay 10$ to download it so please bring it as soon as possible.

Sergii Pylypenko

December 17, 2014, 1:39 pm

Just install Debian noroot, it IS full Linux desktop running on Android, also it's free.

Gordon Zheng

December 17, 2014, 1:46 pm

Hello Hristofor, You are going to love this response! :) not only does Andromium render in 1080p60 (60 Fps or hz which most docks including Samsung Smartdock doesn't (30 fps) ), but it also completely redefines the click events to mirror a windows 7. Folders are opened with double clicks and have the ability for left click menu, maximize, minimize and resize a window and close with the escape key as well as a shortcut home button in the task bar that minimizes all screens :)
Native android is built for touch, #Andromium is built for #desktop.

Gordon Zheng

December 17, 2014, 2:41 pm

Andromium OS is a layer on top of Android that has its own custom task manager, memory manager, browser that is detected as a desktop browser, window manager, video player, event handler and apps. In the near future we are releasing our own SDK so developers can create apps contained within windows (the ui concept not the company) or port their native android apps to desktop version. All interactions within Andromium are desktop style. Meaning right and left click, resize maximize minimize and close windows for each app, etc. With the completion of our SDK you can say that Andromium is an entire operating system that takes over the phone while still running native android apps when it detects a keyboard, mouse and video out that seamlessly closes when disconnected. So native Android apps as well as Andromium apps for the time being.
I hope this answers your question. I will copy your question and my reply into many forums if that is ok with you. I think it is a great question and many people would like to see this answer elsewhere. :) Thank you

Sergii Pylypenko

December 17, 2014, 4:49 pm

It supports x86 architecture, and works on Galaxy Tab 3, and you can uninstall it just fine, like any other app, but you cannot install it again because of a bug in Android.

Laptops were all the rage 3 years ago, but you still won't find a laptop with AMOLED or at least IPS screen, a battery that lives more than an hour, and with a price less than $500. Plus, a small tablet fits in your jacket, unlike all the things you mentioned (I won't count RaspberryPi, because it needs external display).

Sergii Pylypenko

December 17, 2014, 6:00 pm

Yup, using the real laptop is always better than these crutches with emulating another OS, the only case when this is justified is when you want to save some little money. Or when you don't have a laptop with you, and someone emails you a PowerPoint document - Google Drive can now open almost any MSOffice document though.

As some people I know would say, it's not a laptop if it doesn't run Windows and MSOffice and [insert your favorite game]. Windows license alone would be $100.

Gordon Zheng

December 17, 2014, 7:40 pm

It will run on Andromium, but it will take over the screen like all Android apps. You can, however, lay andromium windows apps on top of it for multi tasking, but with our SDK all apps will be launch in windows within Andromium

Sergii Pylypenko

December 17, 2014, 7:42 pm

I mean, Debian noroot is just what's written on the tin - a Debian installation, running under fakechroot, which is kind of very thin emulation layer.

Andromium is most probably utilizing some similar technique, they could not just take Google Drive app without Google permission, and redo it for desktop mode, they are using some open-source office package, like OpenOffice or LibreOffice, running in some kind of desktop simulation.

Sergii Pylypenko

December 17, 2014, 8:41 pm

You gave me a nice idea - create an app with basically an Android emulator inside (or customized Dalvik), and make it run other apps on your phone in a windowed mode. That needs some serious development effort though.

Gordon Zheng

December 17, 2014, 10:07 pm

We will try to make it as easy as possible with our SDK for you :)


December 19, 2014, 2:36 pm

>>The phone in your pocket is probably about as powerful as a desktop PC,<<

Hope your joking. Because if you really believe that you're nuts. A low-end i7 runs about 110,000 MIPS (million operations per second) compared to the a8 on the iphone 6 which is somewhere in the 2000 MIPS (million operations per second).

That's quite a significant difference. 100,000 compared to 2,000. Also keep in mind the GPU's available to desktop machines is ridiculously powerful compared to anthing that pushed pixels around on even the latest smartphones.

Just standing back thinking about the experience I get from my ipad or Note 3, I would put the performance on the level of say my old XP eee machine netbook. That could run fullblown photoshop and had "ok" game performance for like early 2000 era games. Civ 2 or 3, yes. Civ 4, no. SimCity 4, yes. Sim City 5, no way.

So I doubt a late model iPad for example, could handle the requirements of Civ 5 for example.

And I don't think the full photoshop could run on an iPad or really any mobile device... just yet. All things considered, RAM requirements, CPU, graphics, storage etc.

A typical "photo" editing session in photoshop for example, with a few layers, a largish 12 megapixel photo, etc, easily can take 2 to 6 gigs of RAM to juggle around while running the session. How would that translate into a 1 gig iPad or iPhone with only 32 gigs of storage? Not very well. So thats why pretty much everything is still small 10 to 100 meg apps on mobile device. They are simply not in the same league.


December 19, 2014, 2:41 pm

An android tablet that's de-googlised. By it's very nature of who owns the OS seems kind of impossible to me :) Just saying.

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