Maru 0.6 Combines LineageOS & Debian 9, Supports Wireless Desktop Streaming

Maru 0.6

Maru OS was first unveiled in 2016 as a smartphone operating system that relies on Android on the go, and Debian while connected to an HDMI display, and Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. The downside was that it only works on Nexus 5 at the time, but Preetam D’Souza open sourced his solution, and more people joined the project to expand the number of supported hardware platforms. I had not heard about the project for a while, but Maru 0.6 Okinawa has just been released with the three main changes being the switch from Android 6.0.1 AOSP to a custom version of LineageOS based on Android 8.1.0 to support a broader range of devices, the upgrade from Debian 8 to Debian 9, and support for wireless desktop streaming meaning you don’t need a phone with HDMI / MHL support anymore. The reliance on AOSP meant Maru used to only work on Google / Nexus devices, and importantly Google dropped HDMI support …

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Year 2018 in Review, Top 10 Posts, and Some Stats

cnx software year 2018 review

That’s it, we’ve already reached the last day of 2018, and it’s time to have a look back at what happened during the past year. On the mini PC front, Gemini Lake based mini PCs took over from Apollo Lake with some performance improvements, but I expected the price point to be a bit lower than it is today.  Apart from further developments with regards to mobile processors, it feels 2018 was an off-year for processors, such as the ones found in TV boxes and development boards, with mostly more of the same. Allwinner and Rockchip did not release any really interesting processor, and Amlogic only launched S905X2 and S905Y2 which are mostly evolutions of their previous generation with an OpenGL 3.x capable GPU and USB 3.0. Rockchip RK3399 stood out this year, as despite being launched in 2016, it suddenly became popular again with many RK3399 SBCs coming to market, and RK3399Pro was announced – but not launched yet …

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LAPSCREEN Ultralight Ultrathin 12.5″ Display Works with USB-C, HDMI, WiFi, and More

LAPSCREEN

If you want to add an extra screen to your laptop, we’ve previously covered DUO add-on display, a full HD 12.5″ display that can be placed on the left or the right of the display, and it was launched via a crowdfunding campaign that ended up being popular with over $800,000 raised from more than 4,000 backers. The display is however 1.2 cm thick and weights 680 grams, which does not seem too bad until you hear about LAPSCREEN. Developed over several years by Mr. Black (Michél Haese), LAPSCREEN is also a 12.5″ display with Full HD resolution, but it only weights 200 to 300 grams depending on whether you select the non-touch or touch version, and comes with a 4 to 8 mm thickness. Such displays enable what Michél calls the “portable office”, so you’d have your laptop for example, and if you ever needed four extra screens as shown above it would add less than one kilogram to …

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$100 Laptop Shell to Support Smartphones, USB Type-C PC Sticks, and SBCs (Crowdfunding)

100 dollar lapdock

Launched in 2011, Motorola Lapdock turned the company’s Atrix 4G smartphone into an Android laptop, but it did not end up being a commercial success so the company stopped manufacturing the laptop shell a few years ago. It is still used by hobbyist for example to create their own DIY Raspberry Pi laptop, and in recent years, with phoned getting much more powerful and desktop support for Android improving, lookalikes have been launched such as NextDock or Mirabook. A new option will soon be available, as Charbax known for his armdevices.net website and YouTube channel has just launched an Indiegogo campaign for a $100 Lapdock. Two models will be available with Lapdock 11.6″, and Lapdock 14.1″ referring to their size, but sadly no other specifications were provided for the display. We still know they’ll work with Samsung Dex / Linux on Dex modes, Huawei PC mode, and basically any device with a USB type-C with DisplayPort Alternate mode, as well …

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SMOS DeX Station is a $40 DeX Pad Alternative for Samsung Galaxy S8, S9, & Note 8, and Other USB Type C Phones

Samsung-DeX-Station-Clone

DeX is the “Desktop Experience” on some premium Samsung Galaxy phones that allow you to run apps on an HDMI display or TV through Samsung Dex Pad that sells for $75 and up. But if you want to save some money, there’s an DeX Pad alternative with SMOS DeX Station going for $39.99 on Amazon, which should also work with other phones with a USB type C port, but obviously without Samsung DeX mode. The dock includes a USB type C port to connect your phone, as well as USB 3.0 type A ports for keyboard and mouse, or optional mass storage device, HDMI output port up to 4K @ 60 Hz according to the specifications, and a USB type C charging port. The dock ships with a 60cm USB type C cable, and a 1.5m HDMI cable. Amazon reviews are mixed with people really happy about their purchase, but others complain about fan noise and the lack of 4K …

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Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 Phablet: Up to 8GB RAM, Up to 256 GB Storage, Bezel-free 6.4″ Display, $1,095

Yesterday, Xiaomi introduced Mi 6 smartphone, in what looked like to be their premium model, but it turns out they have a more powerful (and expensive) model with Mi MIX 2 Phablet/Smartphone boasting the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, but equipped with up to 8GB RAM, 256 GB flash, and a 6.4″ display with 2560×1440 resolution and virtually without any bezels. Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 preliminary specifications: SoC – Qualcomm Snpadragon 835 octa-core Kryo 280 processor with 4x cores @ 2.45 GHz, 4x cores @ 1.9 GHz, Adreno 540 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0 full, Vulkan, DX12, Hexagon 682 DSP System Memory – 4, 6 or 8 GB LPDDR4X dual channel memory Storage – 128 or 256 GB UFS 2.0 flash; NO micro SD card Display – 6.4″ capacitive touch AMOLED display with 2560×1440 resolution Audio – Speakers; microphone; 3.5mm audio jack Cellular Connectivity 2G – 580/900/1800/1900 MHz; CDMA EVDO: BC0 3G – WCDMA B1/2/5/8; TD-SCDMA: …

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Mirabook is Laptop Dock for Smartphones, Development Boards (Crowdfunding)

Motorola Lapdock may have been ahead of its time, as laptop docks for smartphone are back in vogue with products like NexDock, and Apple could soon launch their own iPhone laptop dock. Another option is Miraxess Mirabook laptop dock with a 13.3″ display, and a battery lasting up to 24 hours, that works for smartphones, development boards, and HDMI TV sticks thanks to its USB type C port. Mirabook specifications: Display – 13.3″ IPS display with 1920×1080 resolution (non-touch, except if they raise $2 millions…) Audio – Speakers, 3.5mm audio jack Video Output – HDMI port Storage – SD card slot QWERTY keyboard & multi-touch trackpad USB Integrated USB type C cable to connect to phone, board or HDMI TV stick USB type C port to charge the Mirabook battery 2x USB type A host port Battery – TBD capacity good for 24 hours while charging your phone Dimensions – 320 x 220 x 15 mm Weight – 1 kg …

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Canonical Refocuses Ubuntu Development Efforts on Cloud and IoT, Drops Convergence and Mobile

Mark Shuttleworth has published a new blog post in Ubuntu Insights, and this is not all good news, as the title “Growing Ubuntu for Cloud and IoT, rather than Phone and convergence” implies. Canonical has decided to drop Unity8, and replace it with Gnome in Ubuntu 18.04, and by extension stop any investment in Ubuntu phone and convergence. The main reasons given for the drop were that few commercial partners were interested in the project, preferring to stick with the most popular mobile operating systems like Android, and the community did not see the work as innovation, but instead fragmentation, probably referring to the Mir vs Wayland saga. On the better news, Canonical is still committed to work on Ubuntu desktop, and will focus on the Cloud and IoT applications such as automotive, robotics, networking, and machine learning, for which the company has gone well so far with multiple commercial partners. The video below shows the work done so far …

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