When you compare the prices of full-fledged computers to smartphones, the price difference can be substantial. High end smartphones cost nearly upwards of $1,000. That’s about the same price as a normal mid-range desktop computer. Some people just don’t have that kind of money to spend. Especially when a Smartphone can do most of the stuff computers can do. But what if there was a way to transform your smartphone into a computer? Take a look at a recent project called Andromium.
With compatible software, an external HD monitor/TV/Display, and a $35 Andromium Dock, you could effectively run your smartphone as an external computer. The best part about this is that like your smartphone, you could take this dock, wherever you go (Assuming where you are going has a monitor provided to you).
Once you have the Dock and the monitor, you can head to the Google Play Store and download the Andromium OS app that lets you run your smartphone with a Desktop like interface. Note that this is still in beta, so you may experience some bugs. Andromium OS is the desktop interface that your smartphone runs on temporarily when you have the Dock and connections hooked up.
Andromium OS is packed into a downloadable Android app, so don’t expect it to be fancy, or as beautiful as a generic desktop operating system. This is no Windows 10 or anything, but it runs off of your smartphone’s hardware, and performs decently well. It resembles windows 7 just a little bit, with its taskbar, menu bar, and start menu. If you have a high end smartphone, kudos to you, you should be able to run Andromium without a problem.
The Andromium dock has a Micro-USB connection that sits just under your smartphone, and has an HDMI port for displaying output to an external monitor. The dock also has 3 Full sized USB 2.0 Ports on the side of the dock, which sort of acts like a 3 way USB to micro USB OTG splitter. Andromium doesn’t require Root Access or permissions, or even a Custom Rom, so you do not need to go through all the complicated steps to use Andromium. It’s just plug and play, which is extremely simple, and user friendly.
The Andromium dock is also connected to a power source, which at the same time, also incorporates charging for your device. To operate Andromium OS, just plug in a wired or wireless keyboard and mouse, like you’d do with any other desktop/computer, and start using it, simple as that. Audio will still be played through the smartphone’s speaker, but if the device you’re using has a 3.5mm Headphone jack that’s located anywhere but the bottom of the device (which gets blocked and obstructed by the dock itself), then you could possibly plug in headphones or an external speaker to amplify audio.
Andromium has a Kickstarter crowd funding program, whose goal is to raise a goal of $100,000, but failed to do so, only reaching about 65% of the way. Nonetheless, this is still a million dollar idea. With the right manufacturer and funding, this idea could shape the way for desktop computing in the future, on the go.
Basic functions of a desktop like file management, word/document processing, web browsing are obviously a necessity to any Operating system, but the Andromium team also boasts capabilities to do some light device gaming as well, like Super Smash Bros, and GTA. It won’t run Crisis 3 at Ultra settings, but whatever you can play on your phone; you can play on the Andromium OS, on a way larger display.
Andromium are also expanding their device support. Andromium currently supports the latest models of the Samsung Galaxy line, except the S5 because of the Micro USB port cover, but if you are really determined to use the Andromium dock with your S5, you’d rip that sucker right off its hinges.
Andromium’s future plan to support devices includes dock support for: HTC One M8, HTC One M7, LG Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, and the Oneplus One. They are also designing completely new docks to go with individual devices, like the HTC/MOTO/LG devices. Devices with at least 2GB or more RAM work best with Andromium, because even the lowest end model of Laptops sport at least 2GB of RAM. Some of 2015’s highest end Flagship devices (assuming compatibility is not an issue) should run Andromium at the highest rate of performance. Nowadays Smartphones Processors are so incredibly powerful, and incorporate 64-Bit architecture, that they even surpass full fledged computer processors. Even the limitation of RAM capacity has been broken, like we see on the Asus ZENFONE 2, sporting a whopping 4GB of DDR4 Ram, on a smartphone.
Every project comes from somewhere right? Well the idea of mobile computing was introduced from failed project attempts like Motorola’s Webtop, and Ubuntu’s Edge. Those projects are what sparked the innovation of Andromium.
We will have to wait some time for the Andromium team to finalize their development and support for Andromium itself, the Environment (Operating system) which your device runs on, and a wider variety of device support. As well as availability and pricing.
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