Android is a great operating system for touch based mobile devices but have you ever thought about Android as a computer operating system? We are sure you have! Everyone believes Android can be a worthy computer OS with time, considering it’s feature rich and has more than a billion apps but the problem is, it wasn’t built to be used with a keyboard and mouse. Well, that’s what Jide’s Remix OS plans to change.
Remix OS: The Android PC dream might become a reality soon
Remix OS is a desktop operating system build on the open-source Android x86 project, which features a multi window environment built over Android 5.0 Lollipop (According to Jide, it will soon take the leap to Android 6.0 Marshmallow). The OS is aimed at people who want to use an Android PC in the conventional way, that’s through a keyboard and a mouse. So, basically you can go ahead and get Android running on your Windows, Mac or Linux PC with Remix OS. Another good thing is you can run Remix OS from a USB flash drive rather than going through the hassle of overriding your current OS.
Talking about the OS’s interface, the homescreen brings a Start menu, taskbar and system tray similar to what we see in Windows. All in all, it has a very Windows-like experience even when it comes to the apps. The Android apps here have been optimized to play well with Remix OS’ multi-window functionality. Like Windows, the apps can be minimized, maximized and you can even run multiple app windows over each other. The current alpha build does not feature the Google Play Store but you can sideload it and get more than 1.6 billion apps that Android offers.
While there are already a few Android running computers on the market like Google’s very own Pixel C, the problem is Android’s native experience isn’t really full fledged for a PC yet. This is where we find Remix OS interesting. While the OS is in a budding state, it’s headed in the right direction and it’s definitely worth a shot. The OS might also be a reason that developers start creating more Android OSes like this, with a new Phoenix OS already garnering news as the Remix OS alternative. Well, more the competition, more the choices for us.
Coming back to Remix OS, as you might have already guessed from the title, we are here to tell you how you can install Remix OS on a Windows PC. Here’s how to do it:
Run Remix OS on Windows PC through a USB Flash Drive
- 8 GB+ USB 3.0 FAT32 flash drive
- 64-bit CPU (Intel and AMD)
Note: We tried to run Remix OS on a USB 2.0 flash drive and although it worked, you can only use the “Guest mode”. The OS is also not supported on older ARM CPUs that power some Chromebooks and older Macs.
Install Remix OS on USB Flash Drive
Note: The Remix OS alpha build is available to install here and since it’s an early developer build, it might be buggy. But thankfully, you can run the OS from the USB flash drive itself, so no worries about losing your system data.
1. Download Remix OS package (around 700 MB) and extract it. The “legacy” version is for older PCs while the EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) version is for modern PCs, which have higher & faster storage hard drives. We will recommend the legacy version if you have a traditional Windows PC and EFI version if you a Mac or a new higher end Windows PC, so download accordingly. The package includes the Remix OS ISO file and Remix OS USB tool.
Note: To check if your Windows PC supports Legacy files or EFI, press Windows key + R and type “MSInfo32”. Then, check BIOS Mode.
2. Format the USB flash drive you are going to use in FAT32 format.
3. Run the Remix OS USB tool and select the ISO file from the extracted folder. Click “Ok” to start the process.
4. The tool will begin copying files and installing Remix OS on the flash drive. Once done, the tool will ask you to reboot your PC. Click “Reboot” to do it immediately or “Exit” if you want to do it later.
Boot Remix OS from a USB flash drive
1. Connect the Remix OS bootable USB flash drive to the PC.
2. Go to BIOS settings on your PC by pressing F12/F2 or whichever key your system supports. Then, go to Boot options and disable “Secure Boot”. Then, set USB flash drive as first in the boot preference and restart your PC.
3. The PC will then boot through the USB flash drive and you will be presented with two options: “Resident” mode and “Guest” mode. The Resident mode in Remix OS lets you save data, apps & settings on the flash drive, while the Guest mode does not let you save anything. Select whichever mode you prefer.
4. After you’ve selected a mode, Remix OS will start up for the first time. It might take a while depending on your system configurations.
5. The OS will then set up your language settings, WiFi connection, user agreement etc. Once the setup is complete, you will see the Remix OS homescreen.
How to Install Google Play Store & Services
Jide claims to be in talks with Google to bring its Play Store services to Remix OS but the current alpha build does not feature the Play Store. Well, Android has no limitations, which means you can install Google Play Services on Remix OS pretty easily. Here’s how you can do it:
1. Go to Remix OS’ start menu and open “Browser“. Download the GMSInstaller APK file from this link here and install it.
Note: Similar to other Android devices, you will have to first go to Settings->Security->Allow unknown sources to sideload and install apps.
2. Open the app and click “one-click to install Google services“. The app will then start downloading the files required.
3. Once done, you will see the icon of Google Play Store in the start menu. You can then open the Store and login with your Google account and install whatever apps you want.
How to update Remix OS
Jide currently does not offer automatic over-the-air updates but you can get it manually. The process is pretty easy, as all you need to do is burn the latest Remix OS build to the same flash drive you’ve been using without formatting it. That will get you the latest Remix OS version without you losing any of your apps or data.
Remix OS is Android with a Windows twist
Remix OS is certainly an innovative twist to Android and we loved the little time we used it. With the traction Jide is getting, we can expect a more stabilized version of the OS with Google Play services pre-installed very soon. Till then, give Remix OS alpha a try and enjoy Android in a new unique way. Do let us know in the comments section below what you feel about Remix OS.