Remix OS is a custom version of Android designed to make Google’s smartphone and tablet operating system feel more like a desktop and notebook OS. It features a taskbar, customized home screen and notification areas, and support for running multiple apps in windows that you can move around the screen.

The first version of Remix OS was based on Android 4.4 KitKat, and for a while it was available exclusively on the Remix Ultra tablet designed by the same company that develops the software.

Now Jide is working with other companies to bring Remix OS to additional tablets, and Jide has released Remix SO 1.5, which is based on Android 5.0.

remix os 1.5

In keeping with a promise to backers of a Kickstarter campaign earlier this year, Jide has also released a version of Remix OS that you can download and install on a Google Nexus 10 tablet. A Nexus 9 ROM is also in the works, but it’s not ready to go just yet.

What makes Remix OS special is that you can download and run just about any app from the Google Play Store, but you can choose to run apps in full-screen or “phone” modes. When you run apps in phone mode, you’ll see smaller windows that give you the smartphone-style user interface you’d see if you were using those apps on a pocket-sized device. But since tablets have larger screens than phones, you can fit multiple phone-mode apps on the screen at the same time and move them around. This lets you watch videos while surfing the web or working on documents, for instance.

Remix OS 1.5 doesn’t just move to a newer version of Android. It also includes a number of improvements, including:

  • View notifications by swiping down from any portion of the screen.
  • There’s support for running more apps in phone mode.
  • The browser and email apps support copy, paste, and search.
  • You can close apps pinned to the taskbar by dragging them from the taskbar when they’re running. If they’re not running, dragging them from the taskbar will unpin them.

There are also many bug fixes and improvements to the browser, email, and file manager apps.

I’ve dabbled with a beta version of Remix OS 1.5 and it honestly feels a lot like the previous version of the operating system: since Remix is heavily skinned and has a Windows Metro-inspired user interface rather than a Google Material-style design, the move from Android 4.4 to Android 5.0 on the Remix Ultra Tablet doesn’t feel like as big a jump as it did when I upgraded my Nexus 5 smartphone.

But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, since Remix OS was already a nice looking operating system. The move to Android 5.0 should bring some performance improvements and support for some apps that might not have worked on older versions of Android. But for the most part, the folks at Jide focused on offering improvements to their own user experience.

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24 replies on “Remix OS 1.5 now available (Android 5.0 with serious multitasking tweaks)”

  1. I have a Remix mini. I also have several android TV boxes. The Remix Mini is the most impressive of all the Android TV boxes i own. Smooth and fast. I am amazed at the performance the Renix OS brings to android.

  2. Google should get this so they will have their own version of continuum…

  3. Ciao a tutti volevo sapere se sarà disponibile scaricare remix os sul mio tablet samsung galaxy tab 2( anche se so che sarà molto difficile )

  4. I hope that they can release a version of this OS that I can put on my Windows 8 tablet which has an Intel Atom processor. If they port that, my guess is a lot of folks would switch. I personally don’t care if it is a copy, I just want it to work a little snappier.

  5. There have been updates to the notification/quick-settings pull down which are not shown in the video

  6. copying and pasting from Microsoft. sickening to the core. First they poorly copied Surface and now this. Jide is the poors man Microsoft.

  7. It looks like something good just got better. My experiences with Windows 2-in-1 devices have fallen very short when attempting to use them as tablets. (primarily due to the lack of a quantity of quality touch-optimized Modern UI apps) But because the Jide Remix is based on Android, tablet operation is going to be fine. Their work on Remix OS appears to be filling in the “desktop OS” elements that will be needed.

    I’m waiting to see what (if anything) Apple does later this year with regard to a similar hybrid type device… if they don’t do anything or some lame 1st-gen dabbling, I’ll be ordering a Jide Remix that very day.

    1. This exactly.

      What I didn’t quite like is floating windows, instead of having those windows snap to a corner of the screen.

      I also didn’t like the “Phone Windows” as it just sits above the Launcher, so it leaves some screen estate to waste, and doesn’t look very fit’n’finish.

      I also don’t like the method to launch Apps in “Phone Window” and the inability to make them “Tablet Window” once they are open. They should launch full-screen when pressed. And they should probably allow you to press and drag them to a side or corner to snap them into place, a bit like Samsung’s MultiWindow and Windows 8. And you should be able to drag the App from the corner or side, to reshuffle it, close it (while leaving other windows pinned), or maximize it.

      The Notification’s bar wastes screen estate, whereas the Navigation Bar on the bottom has a huge empty area on the right… which could be used to house the Notification’s bar like Tablet Android 4.0.3

      1. I agree with you in the part that windows should be able to be changed to full screen and to be snapable.

    2. Windows 10 is much better than this shit. Its way better. This is just poor rip offs.

  8. To me their UI looks like a straight ripoff of Windows 8.1 — let alone the hardware design of their tablet reminding me of Surface. Not innovative.

    I for one do not want my Android tablet to look and feel like Windows. I like it for its simplicity — I have my Windows 2-in-1 for work.

    1. The Asus Transformer, a hybrid tablet running Android, was released in March 2011. The first surface was released 2 years later in Feb 2013. So technically Microsoft really ripped off Android tablets if you want to look at it in black and white.

      Microsoft also didnt invent frames in applications, which is pretty much what you are talking about when you say they copied their UI, having bright contrasted frames is not copying, its a rational decision to clearly divide UI elements.

      1. sorry your wrong Microsoft developed Windows 8 before around 2010, where Microsoft revealed their Concept metro UI two years before the release back in 2012
        and was revealed first in 2011 on their build conference demo, so technically Asus ripped off Microsoft and Android did not have them in the first place, it was 3rd party get your facts right. Microsoft did not invent frames, so it was decision by them to design the UI elements. So your point is flawed right there, Android did not invent shit by Google themselves.

        1. who fucking cares who copied who. everybody copies everybody all WE GENERAL CONSUMERS wants is a Good Android Tablet. i and other general consumers does not give a fuck , damn or shit about copy paste , as long as the product is actually useful and getting things done. Understood you brainless zealot

  9. @brianadams:disqus founders are three ex-Google employees. Google buying them out seems a remote possibility, although stranger things have happened. I have only been using Android for 3 years, but Remix OS is the first version that I have actually found enjoyable to use.

    At least going from KitKat to Lollipop didn’t kill my tablet’s performance, as it did for so many Nexus 7 users. My wife’s 2013 N7 is still running Android 4.4.4, while my 2012 N7, after much tweaking of 5.1.1 is running at an acceptable speed, but I cannot think of a single user interface feature that was improved by Lollipop. Most actions require more steps and/or are less intuitive. I may yet roll my N7 back to 4.4.4.

    Hats off to the Jide folks for doing a better job on the move from KitKat to Lollipop than Google did.

  10. That looks very usable. I wonder if this could breathe some new life into an Asus TF300?

  11. As I’m watching the video, I couldn’t help but be very impressed. Still need to learn more about this OS but even mouse actions seem to work as expected with what appears to be standard copy/cut and paste. Then… I remembered how terrible Android (mobile OS) browsers are compared to their Desktop counterparts.

    1. @john : You are absolutely right; the Chrome browser experience on Android is a pale shadow of how it works on a laptop OS.

  12. Google really needs to buy this company and start using it’s design as the default android interface.

    1. They probably plan to do that when they merge chrome into android lol 🙂

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