back to article How Remix's Android will eat the world

Which platform will the next billion people on the internet use? Is it more likely to be Microsoft’s Windows squeezed onto low-cost mobile hardware, or a mobile OS given some steroids? Three former Google executives are betting it's the latter. And based on Jide’s early showing, a revved-up Android called Remix OS is a serious …

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Raspberry Pi ?

Well, someone had to say it...

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Re: Raspberry Pi ?

That thought went through my mind after about three milliseconds after I realized what the article was on about.

I just love disruptive, never saw it coming, developments from small teams of enthusiastic people. . Especially if the Gartner Gurus don't see it coming either,

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Revisionism

In a few months Gartner will have been seeing it coming for years.

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Re: Raspberry Pi ?

Remix OS on the Raspberry Pi does make sense and could take both further than each would go independently...

Because what Remix does to the RPi is to put an OS (store and ecosystem) that joe public is familiar with, on to it. Sorry but 'nix does have techie connotations in joe public's mind, hence why the RPi will largely remain a niche platform.

Now is there a version of Scratch for Android/Remix?

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Pint

Thinkpad... ...ARM apps

"My Remix OS installation on an old Thinkpad didn't care that the apps were ARM apps, they just ran."

Several months ago, I predicted that this sort of thing was the inevitable future, and it attracted some rebuttals and downvotes.

I can see....THE FUTURE...

LOL

edit: 4 months ago I posted "So why do so many fail to see the obvious long-term future? One can imagine some future OS accepting Apps written for other OSes. Its embedded 'intelligence' would identify the App's native OS and intent, and then execute it within an emulation. Transparently. It seem obvious. So why the downvotes?"

(That's a subsequent post.)

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Re: Thinkpad... ...ARM apps

The thing is, a bunch of "thinkfluencers" saying so still doesn't make this the future.

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Pint

Re: Thinkpad... ...ARM apps

Actually, with computers, if you can imagine it, then it's inevitable.

And if you can't imagine it, then it's still 50:50...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: if you can imagine it, then it's inevitable

Isn't that Rule 34?

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Re: if you can imagine it, then it's inevitable

No, that's "If it exists, someone's made a porn of it."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Thinkpad... ...ARM apps

Perhaps the down votes are because we've had OSs that can run native code from different OSs for years now. Then, you're not predicting the future, just failing to observe the present. Changing the architecture is harder, but that's what emulators are for, and those are also old hat.

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Re: Thinkpad... ...ARM apps

Are they really ARM apps? Most are written in Java without any native code.

If Real Racing 3 or similar works then that would be more impressive.

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Because you're wrong - that's not the future

How is your fantasy OS going to accept apps written for iOS, OS X or Windows? Those are not open source operating systems, someone will have to write massive libraries to emulate the APIs from scratch. That's what Wine is for Windows, and it still isn't complete or anything like bug free despite having 20 years or so to get the job done!

Why would someone write an emulator for all the iOS APIs an app might use? They won't, they'll just choose an app that runs on an open source OS like Linux or a mostly open source OS like Android. Then you just port the code that implements the APIs to your new OS (if it isn't already Linux based, but it will be) and you're done in a fraction of the time and effort.

If you must run an app that is only available on iOS or only available on Windows? Too bad, you will have to use an iPhone or a Windows PC.

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Re: Because you're wrong - that's not the future

No problem (illegally) running OS X in VMware workstation on Windows whatever version. iOS is a problem. Already do Android and a ton more than that. However, mixing and matching operating systems is something I've been doing using emulation and hardware/software virtualization since the late 80's.

The hardware to do this easily, and portably already exists. Just not cheaply which is the object of the exercise. I'm certainly going to check out Jide now.

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Pint

Re: Thinkpad... ...ARM apps

"Transparently."

As in, just work.

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Re: Because you're wrong - that's not the future

I presumed the guy I was replying to was talking about a legal OS, not some shady product found on a .onion site or something a hobbyist like you cooks up at home.

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Holmes

Re: Thinkpad... ...ARM apps

Related to your "sight"

I have predicted for many years now that at some point a piece of software will sooner or later allow plain .apk files to run on Linux, thus solving the commercial app problem on Linux once and for all.

Windows will try to avoid doing the same for as long as MS can, but eventually it will happen on Windows too... then MacOS... then...

Universal Apps as an open standard.

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Re: Thinkpad... ...ARM apps

maybe because they aren´t ARM apps. they are java apps, and they run on intel via the same jvm translation layer used on ARM. no emulation involved, and much more efficient.

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Thumb Down

Re: Because you're wrong - that's not the future

I'm with you in which this is a solved problem.

Unfortunately until it is legally sanction this is a hobby solution that you can only use at home.

I worked for a company once where they requested Apple permission to run OS X on vmware, they offered apple to buy 4 physical macs to keep 2 of each in two separate data centres, the Macs will be there but turned off as the Mac servers needed to be virtualized.

Apple said... thanks but no.

My company at the time said, OK, we're removing Apple products off our server state, and in 2-3 years we'll remove any apple product from our offices.

And Apple more than anyone knows this.

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Re: if you can imagine it, then it's inevitable

"If it exists, someone's made a porn of it." - it is just not 'available'... :P

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Re: Thinkpad... ...ARM apps

@John Sanders In case you were not aware, MS did have a project in motion to provide a subsystem supporting Google android code that would allow you to run android apps on win mobile (Project Astoria).. but it got killed.

It was technically viable but that was not why it was pulled

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Re: Because you're wrong - that's not the future

True, DougS (have an upvote). However, being able to run Apple Mac is decades old, dating back to both it and the Amiga running on Motorola 68000 chips. Dead simple then, only mildly more difficult now on Intel x86. If people are seriously determined to do something, mere legality doesn't seem to matter. (Google it, no .onion required)

For now, we're in the Cambian explosion evolutionary cycle when it comes to IT. give it a few tech phases and we'll have the field winnowed down, again.

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"Remix OS with...

...Google Play Store has something rather important that Windows 10 Mobile doesn't: apps. And lots of 'em."

Sorry, but quality > quantity every time. I don't care how many hundreds of thousands of poorly-designed apps there are on Platform X. It's only the quality ones that matter. Always.

Windows 10's App Store already has more apps available in it than iOS did after the same period, so it's hard to paint it as a failure. Yes, it has some way to go before it catches up with its rivals, but it's shockingly ignorant of the IT media to demand Microsoft have an App Store stuffed with as many apps on launch day as Android or iOS do now, when none of their rivals had more than a small number of apps on theirs when they started.

What matters here is whether Windows 10's App Store is catching up, not just in mere quantity, but in quality apps from major names. And they are.

That said, Apple still wins the quality war hands down: they are a lot stricter about enforcing UX guidelines than either Google or Microsoft. I think there's a lesson to be learned here.

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Re: "Remix OS with...

The consumer can have several cheap and cheerful laptops and tablets, at least one in all the major ecosystems. One doesn't have to choose only one.

Mobile Phones, due to the monthly bill, most people must choose one. Even there, one may own an example of another ecosystem by using it only on wifi.

It's a mistake to approach gadget ecosystems like religions.

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Re: "Remix OS with...

"Sorry, but quality > quantity every time"

Indeed - I can't do shit with Android that I can do with Windows, and Windows is where the tools I need are.

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Re: "Remix OS with...

"it's shockingly ignorant of the IT media to demand Microsoft have an App Store stuffed with as many apps on launch day as Android or iOS do now, when none of their rivals had more than a small number of apps on theirs when they started."

It is likely to get into a chicken-and-egg situation.

Punters. Does the Microsoft store have an app for xyz? No? OK I'll buy Android/IoS.

Devs. Not enough customers on MS, I'll develop for Android/IoS.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Remix OS with...

> I can't do shit with Android

You're doing it wrong. I regularly use my Android phone when I take a shit.

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Re: "Remix OS with...

One of the major complaints of Windows 8 was that MS were perceived as assuming everyone would be using a touch interface in some way to control their computer of choice.

Whilst the architecture and usability of this OS is commendable in its current form, what is the expected benefit of bringing an entire ecosystem of touchscreen based applications to the desktop?

The main product is the UltraTablet, which looks like a Chinese knock off Surface. The unique selling point for the mini seems to be a capacitive power button.

I can see what they are trying to do and its a fairly good idea, but I get the feeling that for this to work they need to have compelling hardware and right now, imho, they dont. I wouldnt want this installed on my own personal machine as I like playing games and I wouldnt see the need for installing it on a USB drive to boot from whatever machine as I would normally be carrying an Android phone and/or tablet.

For me personally, I would much prefer this to be installed on my phone and have the ability to hook that up to a monitor, keyboard and mouse either via USB or bluetooth.

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Re: "Remix OS with...

"What matters here is whether Windows 10's App Store is catching up, not just in mere quantity, but in quality apps from major names. And they are."

What matters is whether Windows 10 devices are selling. The phones aren't. There will be a Surface phone next year, but it will probably be too little, too late. In the meantime, it's down to Windows 10 on the desktop and the recent broadening out of the app store suggests there's some desperation in Redmond around how things are going.

I've looked in the app store on Windows 10. I can't see that many quality apps from major names myself.

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Re: "Remix OS with...

It isn't shockingly ignorant for the IT press to comment about the relative lack of apps in the Windows Store. It reflects the choice a consumer would make-- they can have an established app marketplace with Android or iOS right now, or they can bet on Microsoft having one eventually. What Android or iOS may have had in their respective marketplaces six years ago isn't relevant, since there were no competitors that already had what they were trying to build at that time.

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Re: "Remix OS with...

"but it's shockingly ignorant of the IT media to demand Microsoft have an App Store stuffed with as many apps on launch day as Android or iOS do now, when none of their rivals had more than a small number of apps on theirs when they started."

That's what they said when Windows Phone 7 came out.

That's what they said when Windows Phone 8 came out.

That's what they're saying when Windows 10 came out.

I see a pattern........

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Re: "Remix OS with...

I think what matters is who are the windows 10 customers? I can see something like remix OS being perfect for people like a family friend for example. She doesn't need office, she would just like something that can surf the web, get emails and things like that it's a OS and PC for people who have given up the pc already and are using their smartphones and tablets, but would maybe like a pc experience in the way of keyboards and a bigger screen etc.

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TVU
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Re: "Remix OS with...

"I think what matters is who are the windows 10 customers? I can see something like remix OS being perfect for people like a family friend for example. She doesn't need office, she would just like something that can surf the web, get emails and things like that it's a OS and PC for people who have given up the pc already and are using their smartphones and tablets, but would maybe like a pc experience in the way of keyboards and a bigger screen etc."

That option is already with us in the form of Chromebooks running the Chrome OS where there is an ongoing upward sales trend including in their use for educational purposes. Remix OS will therefore presumably be competing in that same sector where there is already an established option and how well Remix OS does remains to be seen. If the developers are serious about this OS then they'll have to start talking to existing manufacturers to get their OS as the installed operating system on these netbooks.

Incidentally, this is another area where Microsoft under Ballmer took their eye off the ball and lost out because they used to dominate the netbook/small laptop sector with Windows 7 Starter.

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Re: "Remix OS with...

"What matters is whether Windows 10 devices are selling. The phones aren't."

Yes, they are. Not so much in the US, granted, but that's a relatively small market, and a pretty saturated one at that. It may sound counterintuitive, but I doubt MS are losing much sleep over it. There's a good reason why Satya Nadella is in charge at MS, and not some guy with a more Western-sounding name. Asia is a vast market, and nowhere near saturation point. Even Apple are becoming noticeably less US-centric of late.

Note, too, that MS are more focussed on the business and enterprise markets, not consumers. This shows in their approach to development, such as App Studio, which lets almost any corporation throw a basic app together. This may seem trivial to Anglophones, but it's a big deal in countries where English isn't the national language.

Any serious business, in a constrained economy like Italy or Greece, has to look at overseas markets if they want to grow their revenues significantly; the home market just isn't that big, and there aren't any major export markets that speak their language. That means their IT infrastructure needs to support multiple languages, in multiple countries, each with its own regulatory quirks, as a matter of routine.

MS gets this in a way their rivals do not. Their tools and support infrastructure make it a lot easier to handle this either in-house, or through local contractors. Both would be a lot cheaper than farming it out to a team that doesn't even speak the same language.

Microsoft made over $15 billion last year alone, and any business that has been consistently profitable since the mid-1970s clearly knows how to play the long game, or it would have gone bust many years ago.

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Yes, but it's not been made for you.

I saw an article about an architect who'd open-sourced his plans for a sustainable house.

I downloaded and got some DWG files.

I clicked and had nothing installed that would open them.

Helpful popup, "want me to see if anything in the app-store can help?" - yes, I said.

Oh, there's auto-cad 360 *clicks and installs*.

Clicks DWG files and they open.

Now not a particularly mind-boggling interaction for most people here - but..

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Re: "Remix OS with...

Even so, most home users have a very limited need for business applications. Thus, except for the 3 or 4 times a year they need one, they can happily use any OS. The fact that most consumers treat Winbloat phones with a big yawn should be an alert to the fact they have figured this out. Winbloat for home users is more likely to survive by inertia than because consumers are clamoring for it. Businesses will likely stay strong Winbloat users because of the old legacy applications that only run on it.

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Re: "Remix OS with...

A Chromebook is not a PC though. It might not sound different but it will be enough for some.

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Re: "Remix OS with...

That makes sense to me.

But I think people are forgetting Linux here, even when Android is a Linux derivative. I'm currently running Linux, and I used Wine to run Windows programs. Just having that option has an effect on the market. It shows that the desktop is not limited to either Microsoft or Apple. And that is what gives Remix a chance.

I don;t think the creators are being stupid, but I am wary of the journalists when they forget that sort of stuff.

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Gimp

Re: "Remix OS with...

"Indeed - I can't do shit with Android that I can do with Windows..." and Windows is where the shit is.

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Re: "Remix OS with...

'A Chromebook is not a PC though.'

It is, as soon as you install a linux distro.

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Re: "Remix OS with...

Sorry I should qualify It's not whether its running Chrome OS, or Linux. A Chromebook is a laptop type PC, some users will much prefer a larger screen "sit down" pc, for various reasons that will sometimes might seem irrational to more techy types but are enogh to influence their descision.

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Re: "Remix OS with...

Punters. Does the Microsoft store have an app for xyz? No? OK I'll buy Android/IoS.

Devs. Not enough customers on MS, I'll develop for Android/IoS.

Or alternatively:

Devs: There are already 3 dozen very well featured similar versions of my app available for free on Android.

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Re: "Remix OS with...

Even so, most home users have a very limited need for business applications. Thus, except for the 3 or 4 times a year they need one, they can happily use any OS.

What business applications? Office? Home users like Word and Excel and they use them often, and they want Word and Excel because that's what they have in the office for every day use and it's familiar and comfortable. This is the reason that MS have the HUP, and they are pushing office into schools too, homework and for cheap student/educational licenses.

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Re: "Remix OS with...

> I can't do shit with Android that I can do with Windows, and Windows is where the tools I need are.

Errr... Are you saying Windows is where the shit is? If so, it's scarcely news.

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Re: "Remix OS with...

I have WPS Office on all my android devices and find it quite acceptable. The only thing missing from Android for me is a JRE to run a few cross platform java apps (and large enough memory).

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"What matters here is whether Windows 10's App Store is catching up, not just in mere quantity, but in quality apps from major names. And they are."

Citation needed.

Where are the stats that show that Windows 10 is catching up, i.e. more apps each period are being added to the Windows 10 store than the Google Play store or the Apple App Store?

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Recall my point about "quality > quantity"?

That. Though I admit, I should have focussed more on that point in my original post.

A couple of years ago, you'd have had a hard time just finding apps for the major social media platforms (to pick one sector at random). Today, all the big names are present and correct, and most of the 2nd-tier ones too..

Once you have a critical mass of solid, front-line apps that meet your needs, the platform is fine. I don't care about the many thousands of crapware and glorified web links in an App Store, any more than you or anyone else does, so it doesn't matter how many of those there are on either platform.

Apple's App Stores beat both Windows and Android / Google Play stores by a country mile precisely because they put a bit more effort into sifting out the really, really shit stuff. Some still gets through, but it's hard to find an app on there that looks flat-out ugly. (Although this may have changed as I haven't owned an iOS device for two years now. I'm using OS X and Windows at the moment.)

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Alert

VirtualBox?

Anyone had any luck getting this to run on VirtualBox?

I've got it booting from the ISO contained in the download but, after the Android robot appears and then the RemixOS logotype, it seems to hang.

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Re: VirtualBox?

A well hung android robot no less :)

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Re: VirtualBox?

I did a stand-alone boot from a usb stick and it got stuck at the bright, white, pulsing Remix-OS logo. This was on an old but powerful Dell Precision T5400 with an old Nvidia graphics card. I might try it on my more modern laptop tomorrow.

As far as I can tell from the website and instructions, you can do a dual boot installation onto an existing Windows drive or you can run it alone from a usb stick. It needs an option to install onto an empty drive.

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