Mobile desktop convergence has been a buzz word for several years now, and people have tried to use their smarphone as a desktop PC for a while thanks to technologies like MHL, which allows an easy connection between a phone and TV. However, mobile operating systems such as Android are not really suited for desktop use, and it can be a frustrating experience, so there needs to be different user interface in desktop and mobile modes for an optimal user experience. Canonical is working on this, and Ubuntu Edge, an ambitious, but ultimately failed crowdfunding campaign, was part of the strategy for convergence. But a team of developers lead by an ex-Google employee has been designed a solution with a desktop OS (Andromium OS) and a docking station that let you use your smartphone as a phone on the go, and as a desktop computer while docked, with Andromium user interface taking over, and allowing multiple windows for Andromium apps, although Android apps would still run in full screen.
Andromium user interface is heavily inspired from Windows 7 or OSX desktop, with famous taskbar and start menu, as you can see in the picture above. While the phone is docked (in desktop mode), you’ll still receive calls, text messages and push notifications. It’s not clear how many Andromium apps are currently available, but there’s a least a File Manager, and a full feature browser which you use in windowed mode. The Andromium docking station includes an HDMI output, 3 USB ports, and a power connector to power and charge your phone.
The best way to get a better idea of the system capabilities and features is to watch the demo video below.
The company has now launched a Kickstarter campaign for the project aiming to raise $100,000. You won’t have to break the bank to support this project, as if you already have a dock for your smartphone, you can pledge $10 for Andromium OS that will be downloadable via Google Play Store, although there’s no guarantee about compatibility. So they also provide docks for Samsung Galaxy Note, S, S3 (2GB RAM), S4, Note 2/3/4. Galaxy S5 is not yet supported. Following popular request, they’ll also support HTC One (M7/M8), LG N4/N5, Motorola Nexus 6, as well some large screen tablets. You can pledge between $29 to $35 to get a docking station and access to Andromium OS. Shipping to the US is included, but you’ll have to add $10 to the rest of the world. People residing in the US can expect their dock as early as February 2015, while others will have to wait at least until June 2015.
The official website Andromiumos.com does not have much more information for now.