With App Runtime for Chrome (ARC), users can run Android apps on their computers. It makes for a decent experience, but ultimately it’s just portrait apps on top of the Mac and Windows interface. Announced at CES, Remix OS 2.0 is a full desktop OS that runs Android apps.
Built on Android-x86, Remix OS by Jide works on most Intel Mac and PC computers. The interface is very reminiscent to Windows (there is a task bar that shows running apps and has Android’s home and back button), all your apps are located in a start menu that looks like the old Chrome OS launcher, and users can also pin apps and files to the desktop. Android’s notification center is located as a slide out system tray on the right side of the screen.
Unlike in ARC, app windows are completely resizable. All windows have a maximize/minimize button as well as a back button on their top bar. Remix OS has its own file manager that supports external storage and drag and dropping. As this is basically a skinned version of Android, users can download apps directly from the Play Store.
From their initial demo video, performance looks rather smooth and with a fast processor performance is over double that of the Galaxy Note 5. Jide seems to have created a good keyboard and mouse operating system that supports shortcuts and right clicking. This is effectively better and more efficient than Android on any tablet. It’s ultimately more feature rich than Chrome OS, too, as it has direct access to the full Play Store.
Jide was founded by 3 ex-Googlers in 2014. Remix OS will be available in the next month free of cost and will get OTA updates on a regular basis. Users will be able to install the OS on a USB 3.0 flash drive or they can make a partition and dual boot it.