Jide Technology’s Remix OS 2.0 Android-based operating system, which has been carefully optimized for PC use, will be available for download as alpha-stage software on January 12.
This was made possible thanks to the collaboration with the Android-x86 team, which is working on porting Android on as many Intel and AMD-based machines as possible. Android-x86 never really messed around with the interface, though, which means it suffered from the same problems even Google’s latest Pixel C suffers - having an interface that isn’t optimized for desktop use. Remix OS 2.0, on the other hand, is likely the most PC-centric version of Android we’ve seen so far, so the two projects make quite a match.
David Ko, Co-Founder of Jide Technology said: “Today’s public release of Remix OS, based on Android-x86, is something that we’ve been working towards since we founded Jide Technology in 2014. All of us are driven by the goal of making computing a more accessible experience, with this free, public release allowing us to do this. We believe Remix OS is the natural evolution of Android and we’re proud to be at the forefront of this change.”
As it’s only a community project and because the people behind Android-x86 need to make it work on hundreds of hardware configurations out there, it’s still only based on Lollipop. However, Jide said that the Remix OS-flavored Android-x86 OS should be upgraded to Marshmallow soon. Some Marshmallow test images for Android-x86 were already released last month.
According to Jide Technology, there won’t be any need from app developers to modify their apps so they can work on Remix OS 2.0, likely because they’ve found a way to simply wrap phone or tablet apps in “windows,” so the transition from a smartphone to a Remix OS machine shouldn’t be too bad.
It won’t be until Google fully commits to porting Android to PCs that those apps will be fully optimized for this form factor. However, when it launched the material redesign of Android, Google already started encouraging developers toward more “fluid” applications that work well on phones, tablets and even as windows inside ChromeOS. This should help Remix OS and other PC-optimized and Android-based operating systems in the future, as more developers develop their apps in this way.
Jide said that users can also install the Remix OS 2.0 on USB drivers and then use it as a portable device that they can use to carry their data between computers. For instance, in a remote area where there may be only one computer in a whole village, people could keep their own Remix OS on a USB drive and share a PC hardware’s resources to be able to use it.
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware. You can follow him at @lucian_armasu.