[Updated] Andromium transforms your Android into a pocketable desktop computer

andromium hits kickstarter stick pc experience pocket
Update 12/22/2014 10:15am PST: Andromium has clarified some details about the project. The company says the software works as a layer on top of the standard Android operating system. It includes its own window manager, task manager, memory manager and web browser and video player, and it’ll be detected as a desktop by websites.

The interface is said to be “desktop style” which means the usual shortcuts will work. Double-clicking opens software and folders, right-click open a menu, and windows can me resized, maximized and minimized just as in Linux. It work as “an entire Linux based desktop.” 

The company also said it’s working on an SDK that will let developers create apps for the operating system. 

The pocketable PC has been a dream in the mind of inventors since the release of the first smartphones. We’ve seen previous attempts at the idea, like the Ubuntu Edge, but most have proven too isolated to see success. Andromium, a new company founded to launch a Kickstarter for a product of the same name, hopes it can avoid the fate to its forefathers by piggybacking popular devices.

Andromium is, put simply, an alternative environment for Android that looks and feels like a desktop operating system. It has a taskbar, is designed for a screen that’s in landscape orientation, and provides full support for a keyboard, mouse and monitor. All of this is enabled through a combination of software and a custom dock with video outputs and USB ports.

The dock itself is about the size of a Roku and has a flip cover that protects it during travel. Originally Andromium intended support only for the Samsung Galaxy line of smartphones, but backer pressure has encouraged the company to extend support to the HTC One, LG N4/N5, and the Nexus 6. “Large screen tablets” will be supported as well, though details on that are vague.

While the project looks promising we did notice a few oddities. The most serious concern is how support for windows (the UI concept, not the Microsoft product) will work. This is something Android can’t handle natively, though it appears there’s some effort to handle the problem based on the screenshots we’ve seen. In any case, the developers could be clearer on this point.

The company is also promoting the gaming capabilities of its software by claiming players will be able to play Super Smash Brothers, Grand Theft Auto and other games (presumably through emulators). Using the intellectual property of others to promote a Kickstarter strikes us as a bit sketch.

A goal of $100,000 has been set and the project, which just launched, still has 40 days to go. So far it has managed over a tenth of its goal, so it looks on track. Backers need to pledge at least $10 to get the software (which can technically work on docks besides the one made b y Andromium) and pledge $29 for the dock. A sky-high $340 pledge level promises ten docks for businesses that want to convert an entire office.

What do you think? Does this look promising, or will this end up an interesting but ultimately limited tool like the Ubuntu Edge?

Computing

Enjoy Windows on a Chromebook with these great tips and tricks

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only software.
Gaming

Take to the virtual skies with these free flight simulators

You don't have to spend the entirety of your paycheck to become a virtual ace, at least when it comes to flight simulation. Our list of the best free flight simulators will let you unleash your inner Maverick.
Photography

Tight on space? Here’s how to transfer photos from an iPhone to a computer

Never lose any of your cherished selfies or family vacation photos from your iPhone again by learning how to transfer photos from your iPhone to a computer, whether you want to use a cable or wireless transfer.
Computing

Stop your PC's vow of silence with these tips on how to fix audio problems

Sound problems got you down? Don't worry, with a few tweaks and tricks we'll get your sound card functioning as it should, and you listening to your favorite tunes and in-game audio in no time.
Computing

A new Mac Pro is supposedly coming in 2019, but what will it be like?

Our Mac Pro 2019 rumor roundup covers all the top news, leaks, and rumors about the new Mac Pro set to be announced sometime in 2019. Here's what Apple has said, what the experts think, and what's likely to show up with the new Mac Pro.
Gaming

Wage war on a budget with these fun and free first-person shooters

We all know about Halo and Call of Duty by now, but what about quality titles that won't cost you upward of $60? Check out our picks for the best free first-person shooter games from Paladins to Quake Champions.
Computing

Looking for a new laptop? These 5 notebooks are on sale through Presidents’ Day

If you're ready to ditch your aging notebook, you can score some fantastic Presidents' Day savings right now on Microsoft's Surface Pro 6, Dell's XPS 13, HP's Spectre x360, Lenovo's Yoga C930, and Dell's G5 15 Gaming laptops.
Computing

Switch your WMA files for MP3s with our quick conversion tips

The WMA codec may be great when it comes to multi-channel surround sound, but unfortunately, it falters in terms of compatibility. Check out our guide on how to convert WMA files to MP3 via web-based or desktop methods.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Computing

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will take your skills to a new level

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience and save more time!
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Computing

Windows is getting a face-lift in 2020, but you can get a sneak peek right now

Microsoft is increasing the lead time for an upcoming major update to Windows 10, giving Windows Insiders the ability to test it right now, even though it's not set for release until 2020.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-powered website creates freakishly lifelike faces of people who don’t exist

No, this isn't a picture of a missing person. It's a face generated by a new artificial intelligence on the website ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com. Here's how the impressive A.I. works.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…