Back in January, at CES 2016, Jide revealed that no longer would its Remix OS Android makeover be limited to its own proprietary hardware. Instead, the company decided to release a free version of the operating system for both PC and Mac that would finally translate Android proper to a mouse and keyboard workstation.
We tested that version back in January at CES, and appreciated how easy it was to install the software and launch it on any system. Its lightweight utility gives Chrome OS a run for its money, especially considering the Google Play store’s strong offerings in comparison to the Chrome web store.
Now, after over a month of remaining in alpha, Remix OS has finally made its first beta appearance with version 2.0.102, bearing new, arguably essential features. That includes over-the-air updating, meaning you no longer have to perform a clean install every time a new version is released. Additional amendments include support for legacy 32-bit hardware as well as a new UEFI complete with dual-boot functionality.
Furthermore, as Tom’s Hardware reported last week, Jide plans to add even more devices to its compatibility list, along with the integration of an “advanced” file manager. We’ve reached out to the company to find out more, though personally, I’m holding out for Chromebook support.
Nevertheless, even with the arrival of all these integral enhancements, it’s disappointing to note that none of the Google Play Store and Service functionalities are presently available. Tom’s Hardware reported, however, that Google is in the process of rectifying that, and if you want, Google Play Services can be sideloaded while you wait.
Still, there’s much to be revised in Remix OS even with its beta iteration debut. Despite the sheer impressiveness of being able to open five simultaneous windows in Android and adjusting them across the screen with no apparent lag, it’s hardly more flexible than Google’s ChromeOS without the inclusion of an app store.
Regardless, the amount of work that was evidently put into Remix OS is commendable. The UI is as minimalist as it is practical, and with the right touchups, it could end up giving Google a run for its money.