Remix OS, the Android-based PC-optimized operating system that Google should’ve created a long time ago, recently came out with version 3.0, based on Android 6.0 “Marshmallow.” Jide Technology, the company behind it, also announced that Remix OS 3.0 is now available for Google’s Pixel C tablet as well.
Last year, Google launched the Pixel C, an Android tablet that came with an optional keyboard dock, making it work more like a PC than a tablet--or at least that was the intended purpose of the device. However, when it launched, many thought the tablet lacked something, as it didn’t seem to be a strong enough alternative to a similarly priced Windows-based notebook.
This has also been a problem other Android tablets and hybrid devices have had for a long time. Their user interfaces never seem optimized for their intended purpose. The lack of a well-designed PC-optimized version of Android for so many years is why Jide decided to create its own version of Android that works well for a desktop environment. By the time Jide launched Remix OS, Google didn’t seem like it was interested in pursuing this path, despite the fact that it had already customized Android for TVs, cars, and even smartwatches.
Google has now re-focused on bringing Android apps to Chrome OS, instead. This strategy may just work for Google, given the fact that Chromebooks are on a growth trend, especially in the education sector. Further, Chromebooks already have rather solid brand recognition and value.
However, it’s unlikely that Chrome OS (with Android apps) will replace the native Android build on the company’s own Pixel C as a future upgrade. That makes Remix OS a potentially better alternative right now for Pixel C owners who want to use the device as it was intended (as a mini-notebook), as well as for PC owners that can’t install Chrome OS on their existing PCs. Pixel C users can download Remix OS for their device from Jide's website.
Jide also said that there’s a new update for Remix OS 3.0 for PCs (version 3.0.102), which will allow the OS to be upgraded over the air in the future, making it easier for users to gain the new features. Other changes in the latest update include support for hard disk partition mounts and some Broadcom Wi-Fi fixes, and the recent apps will be shown at the top of the App Drawer.