Our smartphones have become so powerful and their apps so sophisticated that they could even be used to power basic desktop computing activities. There have, in fact, a few attempts at actually making that a formal thing, like Microsoft’s Continuum, Ubuntu’s Convergence, and the Andromium, now called Sentio, Superbook. Most of these, however, have sometimes arbitrary limitations on what users can do. Remix Singularity, however, promises to be different, giving users the exact same apps and familiar Android experience, just in different forms depending on what the phone is attached to.
Microsoft’s Continuum would turn a Windows 10 Mobile interface into a familiar Windows 10 desktop UI but only allowed the use of a very limited number of UWP (Universal Windows Platform) apps. While Ubuntu’s Convergence has no such limitations, allowing you to run regular desktop apps, sometimes even in a small phone screen, the seam that divides the two worlds of mobile and desktop software is sometimes to painfully visible.
Jide’s Singularity immediately has one advantage over these two. There is no dichotomy between apps. Technically, there are no “desktop” apps to speak of. It’s all Android, whether on the phone or in PC mode. The difference is how the interface is presented, something Jide has down to a “T” with Remix OS. For years now, Jide has been the champion of an admittedly niche “Android PC” segment that wants to formally make Android work for work beyond simply having split screens.
What makes Remix OS for Mobile, a.k.a. Singularity, different is that it’s meant for, well, mobile, that is to say, phones. Previous Jide products made the assumption of large screens, be they built-in like a tablet or laptop, or externally attached to a mini PC. This time, Remix OS has to work on the more constrained space of a phone and as a regular Android phone interface. When you connect it to an external monitor, however, it switches to the normal Remix OS desktop interface.
Remix OS for Mobile is still in the early stages of development, so details are intentionally scarce. Initial target devices are the Nexus 5X and 6P though it could expand at a later date. It will come in a custom ROM that promises to stick as close to stock Android as possible. At least for the phone part. Whether it fares better than the likes of Maru OS and Andromium, which so far haven’t exactly taken off, remains to be seen, but Jide at least has a solid foundation to build upon.