Jide, the company that created an Android-powered Microsoft Surface clone is back at it. In an effort to make Android more suitable for multitasking, Jide is releasing its Android Lolipop-powered operating system image so that any PC will be able to run Android.
Like its Surface clone, Remix OS brings Android with a Windows flair. Instead of full-screen apps on the vanilla build of Google's Android, Remix allows Android apps to run in resizable and collapsible Windows, making the OS more suited for productivity and multitasking.
This fork of Android looks more like a desktop operating system, like Chrome OS, OS X or Windows. Like Windows 10, it even comes with support for gestures. Swiping in from the right, for example, brings up a notification tray.
A free download
"Built on the Android-x86 project, Remix OS for PC unlocks our next phase of development for Remix OS and introduces a whole new range of versatility to how and where you can Remix," Jide said in a statement.
Later this month, users can download Remix OS 2.0 for free directly from Jide. The operating system image can be saved to a flash drive. Once you plug the drive into your existing machine, you'll be able to run Remix's brand of Android for free.
You'll need a USB 3.0 flash drive and a PC with legacy USB boot support to operate Remix.
The advantage to Remix, especially for owners of tablets or convertible systems, is that it offers a more finger-friendly UI with large icons and on-screen menus. Even though Windows 10's Continuum helps make Windows more friendly for both touch and keyboard users, legacy Windows programs may not have been adapted for touch, making the experience feel clunky.
With Remix, you'll have access to Android's large library of apps, which have been designed with touch in mind. This could be a good solution for Surface Pro 4 owners who want a mobile OS for play and Windows 10 for work and productivity.
It's unclear what impact running Remix OS 2.0 will have on your system's battery life. Compared to a native Android phone or tablet, performance of Remix OS 2.0 on a desktop system should be blazing fast, according to Jide.
For example, on an Intel quad-core Core i7 processor, Remix performs nearly three times as fast as Samsung's flagship Galaxy Note 5 on Jide's benchmark.
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