The company behind Remix OS, a custom version of Android that brings desktop-style features to the mobile operating system, have released new builds for three devices.
For the first time you can now install Remix OS 2.0 on the Google Nexus 9 and Nexus 10 tablets. And Jide has also released a new stable build of Remix OS 2.0 for the company’s own Ultra Tablet.
Jide released an early build of Remix OS 2.0 for the Ultra Tablet in January, but the new build should offer better, more reliable performance.
As for the other tablets, Jide has been offering custom ROMS of Remix OS for the Nexus 9 and Nexus 10 since 2015, making them the first tablets with ARM-based chips that you can install the operating system on by yourself. Other tablets that run Remix OS tend to ship with the operating system pre-installed.
These days you don’t need a tablet (or mini-computer) to run Remix OS though. Jide released Remix OS for PC earlier in 2016, allowing anyone to download and run the operating system on many notebook or desktop computers with Intel or AMD chips.
While Remix OS allows you to run most Android apps, the operating system’s claim to fame is the way it transforms Android into a desktop operating system. There’s a taskbar, desktop, and start menu-style app launcher. And once you open an app you can minimize, resize, or move it anywhere on the screen, allowing you to view multiple apps at the same time.
Version 2.0 offers a number of upgrades over previous versions of the operating system, including an updated file manager and better support for resizing windows.
There are signs that Google could build some similar functionality into future versions of Android with the addition of a “freeform” Window mode. But for now, Remix OS still seems more versatile than anything Google is working on.