French startup Miraxess plans to begin shipping its Mirabook laptop dock for smartphones in March, 2018. It’s a device that looks like a laptop, but which is powered by your smartphone, giving you a way to use a touchpad, keyboard, and display.

But now Miraxess is introducing another way to do that: Mira PC Mode for Android. Basically it’s an app that lets you get a desktop-like experience with or without a special dock.

You’ll want to use a cable to connect your phone to a monitor though, and you’ll probably need a Bluetooth mouse and/or keyboard.

Miraxess says Mira PC Mode should be available in January, and it’ll be a free app for Android phones (although there will be some in-app purchases if you want to unlock some premium options).

Update: Miraxess tells me the app will show up in the Play Store as OXI, and it’s being developed by the company’s partner, Auxens

Basically the OXI app will be a version of the software that lets you use your phone with the upcoming Miraxbook laptop dock. In addition to launching in the Play store, Miraxess says the companies are talking to phone makers about the possibility of preloading the app on phones to offer out-of-the-box support for a desktop mode.

Miraxess says all you’ll need to use their software is a phone with a USB Type-C port, a USB Type-C to HDMI cable, and maybe a phone with at least 4GB of RAM. That last bit is a recommendation more than a requirement.

Oh, and I guess there’s one other thing you’ll need: the desire to actually use your phone as a PC. It’s a nifty concept… but it’s also one that’s been around for a few years, and which hasn’t really taken off yet.

Sentio Desktop offers a similar desktop mode (and Sentio’s upcoming Superbook is also a lot like the Miraxess Mirabook). Samsung’s DeX dock offers similar functionality for the company’s latest flagship phones. And Microsoft’s Continuum for phone feature lets you do it with (some) Windows 10 smartphones (assuming you can find one).

I can certainly imagine a future where our phones become our primary PCs, which would eliminate the need to sync data between devices or install multiple versions of the same app. But right now they’re kind of underpowered for that, and it probably makes more sense for most folks to use a desktop or laptop for work and a phone for staying connected on the go.

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7 replies on “Miraxess wants to turn your Android phone into a desktop PC”

  1. Both Dex and Continuum have limitations in Desktop mode.

    This sounds like it might not. I bet it will though.

    I jumped into the Librem5’s crowdfunding, but I’d also be happy when I can get Desktop Windows on a Phone sized device with phone functionality.

    My guess is no one is making that because it would be large and heavy by modern phone standards, but I’d buy it…

    I love my CoreM5 compute stick, it’s really powerful for the size. And I’ll never buy a desktop again as a result. The only devices larger than a phone I own are a laptop and Zotac Magnus for gaming.

    When the laptop fails me (a long time from now likely, it’s i7 and 16gb ram) I won’t buy another laptop. By then I really hope a portable desktop class device the size of a phone – maybe the Librem5 – has taken that spot in my gear.

  2. I did use my N900 as a desktop PC for fun back in the day. And I learned then that I actually don’t want to do that.
    Even with a very fast phone, it’s gonna be slow, the messing with the cables is a pain, all the files you want to work with are either in the cloud and you have to download them to work, or on an USB drive, that is hard to connect to a phone that is also docked to a screen; adding time to what you were trying to accomplish, and when you are done, you’ll have to get those files back where you can reach them from your PC. Someday it might become a viable concept, and I admit I haven’t tried this in years, but for now it’s faster to take out that notebook and do the work on that than messing with your phone. Sure, it’s on you at all times but the time you need to set things up is more than what it’s worth.

    1. It’s not that complicated. I have a K780 logitech keyboard and m720 mouse so I just press a button and the keyboard and mouse that I use for my computer switched to my phone, tap a button and miracast connection is initated with the tv (If I need a big screen). And top Android phones are just as powerful as top Apollo lake processors (which for some is fine for their computer) and Android is lighter weight than Windows. The files thing… I just FTP it from my computer, but the important stuff I have synced between devices anyways (and my phone has a 200GB microSD and the tablet 128). And apps are available which give me the needed functionality (like TextMakerHD).

  3. > I can certainly imagine a future where our phones become our primary PCs

    At this point, I’ve had it with Android’s lack of security updates, it’s surveillance, tracking, data-mining. Also fed up with Google’s constant attempt to dictate what users want on their phones instead of listening to actual customers – whether it’s microSDs, increased storage or other practical feature.

    I’m hopeful that this ‘phone to primary PC’ future starts with the Librem 5…

    1. I think the mirabook lapdock should be compatible with Librem 5.
      I’ve seen some picture on their campaign where they use a desktop UX so…

    2. Amen, well said. I personally would pay for a Linux OS tablet before a phone. I don’t mind if the components are lower end.

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