Have you ever wanted to run Android on your PC? Want a full-fledged desktop along with it? Meet Remix OS 2.0, a brand new Android PC operating system based on the Android x86 Project.
This was created by former Google employees, at Jide. The aim of this OS is to offer a desktop like Android experience that can run on any PC. And we were pretty impressed when we tried it out.
For starters, the OS is not installed to your hard drive, although you can if you want to. Second, the OS currently does not come with Google Apps preinstalled, although this may change sometime in the future. Just remember, this is currently on alpha right now.
The requirements say that you need a 64 bit CPU (which most PCs have nowadays) and a USB 3.0 flash drive. You have the option of choosing the legacy version, for legacy BIOS systems, or the EFI version, for UEFI systems. During our testing of the OS we did not have a USB 3.0 flash drive, so we decided to try the OS out on a USB 2.0 flash drive and see how it performs.
Our PC is not that slow, but doesn’t have super high-end specs either. What we are dealing with here is a Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 72 with an Intel Core i3-3220 processor clocked at 3.30 GHz. The RAM is only 4 GB. This PC does not have any USB 3.0 ports.
Since our PC has UEFI, we downloaded the EFI version and installed it to our 8 GB USB 2.0 flash drive. Instructions can be found in the package you download from the website. One thing to note is, you need to disable Secure Boot. Since the OS is basically Linux, and Secure Boot doesn’t have the valid signatures for some Linux operating systems, make sure to disable it before attempting to boot.
When you boot the OS up, you get two options. One is the Residential Mode, which saves all your data on your flashdrive for future use. When we tried that it reported that our USB Flash Drive only had a write speed of 5.4 MB/s and the recommended is 10 MB/s. (However on Jide’s website it says 20 MB/s recommended) We went ahead, and it took 30 minutes to create the data partition. We also got a bunch of read errors during first boot. But it didn’t work that great. The OS kept crashing and sometimes failed to boot!
We then tried the Guest Mode, while it doesn’t save anything, it’s actually usable. And that’s what mode we used the entire time when doing this review.
When booted up for the first time you will get a desktop with some icons and a taskbar.
Pretty cool right? If you click on the Jide logo at the bottom left, you will get something similar to the Chrome App Launcher.
Not a whole load of apps, but will do. And yes, MX Player was preinstalled.
Now taking a look at the notification centre, looks pretty similar to Windows 10. Isn’t it?
And it wouldn’t be a desktop like OS if you can’t run multiple apps at the same time! Our PC handles multitasking without issues.
As you can see in the above screenshot, the OS comes with a file manager. However we found out it was unable to extract .zip files.
The web browser isn’t Chrome, it’s a bit outdated, but gets the job done. Our website loaded without any issues.
Here are some screenshots of CPU-Z. And yes, it has root access.
We were able to run the Gamenology app successfully on Remix OS 2.0. We were able to change the size of the app without any problems.
And finally, the OS is based on Android 5.1.1.
Now what we didn’t find in the OS is the System Update option. It’s currently unavailable right now, so any future updates will need to be installed manually.
Another thing that bothered us was when we switched back to Windows (Windows 10 in this case) the time got changed. We are guessing this was to do with the time zone, so we had to change the time manually, or wait for the Windows time server to sync the correct time.
Other than that, the OS was great. It is a great OS with loads of potential, and we’re sure many of you guys agree with us, don’t you? 🙂
If we had to give this a rating, we would give this a 3.5 out of 5. There are some things missing, but it’s worth pointing out that this was the very first version available to the public. So hopefully it will improve over time.
So should you try this OS? We would say, give it a try. It’s free and it doesn’t cost a thing. There is also a lot of community support as well, so if you want to try it out, download the OS at http://www.jide.com/en/remixos-for-pc.
Don’t forget to have a USB 3.0 flash drive handy with you for the best performance. 🙂