4 Amazing Desktop Environments For Android.
Android is an operating system that has come a long way since its first lame steps on early devices, but it still lacks a proper desktop environment. In other words, if you connect your powerful smartphone to a big screen, you still get a phone interface. Just scaled up to epic proportions.
There have been several attempts to create a good desktop environment for Android phones. Samsung is leading the way with DeX This is exclusive to certain Samsung phones, but turns your device into a full-fledged desktop computer when you connect it to a large monitor, DeX station, or (in some models) another computer using the DeX desktop app.
Right now, the Leena Desktop user interface is still in beta testing, but already looks incredibly promising. Actually Leena is just an Android app, but it has been cleverly written to provide you with most of the basic functionality you get from a real desktop UI for your phone.
The downside to Leena is that you cannot launch other applications and then launch them in it. Instead, you need to use the built-in helper apps. The good thing about Leena is that you don’t need to root your phone or otherwise modify it to use it. Just download it as a normal application and use it.
There is also a paid Ã¢â‚¬Å“professionalÃ¢â‚¬Â version of the software that adds more features, but for most people, the basic free beta already provides a quick way to get to a better workspace.
Sentio Desktop currently offers a more feature-rich product than Leena, but the company has gone beyond just offering a desktop environment for Android. They also sell hardware that, when combined with an app, truly turns your phone into a laptop.
It is called Superbook and is a laptop with nothing superfluous in it. Your phone sits on the side of the superbook and the app launches on the home screen. This is very cool, although it may not be ready to replace a laptop for most people.
The good news is that you don’t need to buy Sentio hardware to use this app. You can simply connect any mouse, keyboard and external monitor to the system and get the same thing.
It looks like Sentio has really well thought out when it comes to what desktop features are really important to day-to-day work. It allows you to resize apps, change resolution, multi-window apps, and whatever you’d normally expect from a Windows or Linux desktop user interface
It also has a traditional start menu, taskbar with taskbar and action center. Overall, Sentio Desktop looks like a real competitor to Samsung DeX, albeit without hardware limitations. Again, since Sentio will work on any Android device, stability will inevitably suffer.
Looking at user reviews, it seems that while it works great for many, some users have crashes or other issues on their specific phones. Not a big deal if you haven’t invested in SuperBook hardware, so it’s worth trying the app before you think about it.
Sentio is certainly very ambitious, and if you don’t have a DeX-enabled phone (or even have one!) It is definitely worth a try.
While Leena and Sentio offer a desktop interface for your Android phone, AndroNix goes further by adding a whole additional operating system to your phone. Yes, this app lets you run a Linux installation on your Android phone. It doesn’t require rooting, but it does take a little lubrication to get it working.
Andronix is Ã¢â‚¬â€¹Ã¢â‚¬â€¹more of a set of step-by-step scripts that you copy into a terminal application. The instructions are clear, there is a lot of documentation, but here I had to bypass the limitations of Android. For example, you access your Linux instance using VNC, a remote desktop client This is a kludge that works great, but it is a kludge nonetheless.
AndroNix has a really awesome community, lots of documentation and developers who seem to be really up to date with support requests. The paid premium version also has dedicated support that can make a difference to you if it becomes a mission-critical application.
It’s definitely not for everyone, but it’s incredibly impressive nonetheless.
The first thing you should know about Maru OS is that it only runs on a very small number of devices right now. These are not even very popular phone models, so most likely you don’t have them. However, Maru is well worth bookmarking and keeping an eye on. It is a great lightweight smartphone operating system.
Yes, MaruOS actually replaces the entire operating system, it is not the OS inside and the OS, or just an application with the desktop UI. It is based on Android Oreo and is gradually evolving from a mobile OS to a desktop OS.
At the time of this writing, you can download MaruOS on the following devices:
- Nexus 6P (angler)
- Nexus 5X (bull)
- Nexus 5 (head hammer)
- Pixel (Sailfish)
- Samsung S9 + (star2LTE)
Pay attention to the internal names. For example, “star2LTE” refers to S9 + phones equipped with Exynos. So not every S9 + will work.
MaruOS is an extreme approach to making your phone work like a desktop computer, but it can also be the most reliable and elegant way to do it. For most of us right now, this is just curiosity, but hopefully something like MaruOS will become the norm for all Android devices at some point in the future.
Your phone is your computer!
Since Android flagship phones now have the same processing power as a typical work laptop, it seems a shame to spend it all browsing Instagram and Twitter. With these apps, you can put that grumbling to good use, and maybe even leave this laptop at home while moving from one monitor to the next.
Even if you’ve ever only used the desktop option as a last resort, there are always options!