Launched on July 21, 2016, Andromium is an Android app capable of turning your smartphone into a fully functional computer. Its developers have managed to reach 300% of their funding goal on Kickstarter within the first hour, suggesting that what they came up with could, finally, bring the era of convergence, which Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, said is the future of computing.
How It Works
Modern smartphones have ample processing power and the latest version of the Android operating system powers more than 2.4 million apps that cover everything from entertainment to productivity. The problem is that these apps are designed with touch input in mind. That’s great for when you are on-the-go, but it sucks when you need to sit down behind a desk and do some actual work with mouse and keyboard.
Andromium transforms the user interface of your existing Android smartphone, adding a mouse cursor and keyboard support—essentially turning your Android smartphone into a full-blown PC. Any Windows user will instantly recognize the familiar interface, with an application menu in the left bottom corner, the current time in the right bottom corner, and a desktop with application icons.
Andromium is currently in limited time free public beta. It can be used either with a compatible dock, such as the Desktop Dock from Samsung, or with Chromecast or Miracast dongle. If you are feeling adventurous and would like to try Andromium right now, you have to meet the minimum device requirements.
Minimum Device Requirements:
- Lollipop 5.0 or above with the Superbook or Chromecast/Miracast or Adapter/Dock that allow external TV/Monitor attachment
- Mouse/Keyboard (USB or Bluetooth)
- Phone must be charging when trying to launch Andromium OS.
Recommended Device Specification:
Here are a few options that would meet the specs.
- Snapdragon 800 or better processor
- 2GB RAM
- 1080p external monitor
Future of Andromium
But the San Francisco-based company behind the Andromium OS app doesn’t expect their future customers to read lengthy tutorials and go through complicated setup procedures.
Instead, they would like them to purchase the Superbook. “At its core, the Superbook is a smart laptop shell that provides a large screen, keyboard and multi-touch trackpad, 8+ hours of battery, and phone charging capabilities,” explains the company on their Kickstarter page.
With Superbook, all that a user would have to do is plug his or her Android smartphone and wait for Andromium to automatically launch and deliver the full laptop experience. The basic $99 pledge on Kickstarter includes the Superbook (Gold) with 1 custom USB-OTG cord and 1 charging adapter.
Suddenly, paying hundreds of dollars for a high-end smartphone makes a lot more sense, when the same smartphone can turn into an ultra-book, allowing you to create and edit documents, presentations, spreadsheets, play games, build software on-the-go, watch movies, browse the web, and more.
The Superbook has an 11.6″ HD display, 8+ hours of battery life, physical keyboard and multi-touch trackpad, and all the connectivity of your smartphone, including Wi-Fi, LTE, and Bluetooth. “As long as your phone supports USB-OTG (which it most likely does), the Superbook will work for you,” states the company.
It’s still too early to tell whether the Superbook will enter into the annals of history as the device that brought upon us the era of mobile to PC (or laptop, in this case) convergence, but it’s evident how appealing the concept is to everyone who occasionally needs to be productive while on-the-go but is not keen on the ideal of paying hundreds of dollars for a capable laptop.