Earlier this year at CES we saw Remix OS — an Android fork with desktop features that you can load on to pretty much any x86 computer. Now, the company behind Remix OS, Jide, has announced the release of the software's beta for March 1st, adding support for older, 32-bit machines. This means that if you've got a moldy laptop or PC kicking about that you want to bring some fresh life to, you can download Remix OS for free, chuck it onto a USB stick, and boot it up. The software adds a bunch of desktop features to Android, including mouse and keyboard support, a traditional windowed interface, a file manager, and a dock at the bottom of the screen for apps. And because it's Android, you can run anything you would on the regular mobile OS — from Instagram to Clash of Clans.
Bug fixes, dual booting, and over-the-air updates are all coming to the beta
Along with the extra support for 32-bit systems, the Remix OS beta has numerous bug fixes, dual boot support, and over-the-air updates. This last point, says Jide co-founder David Ko, will mean that users "can begin to rely on Remix OS for more daily activities without the worry of a new update wiping their data." Whether anyone is actually relying Remix OS for their daily workload is another question, and there are still challenges for users. For example, the beta doesn't come preloaded with Google Play Services or the Play Store (Jide says says Google is taking "the time they need to test the new operating environment"), and people will instead have to sideload these themselves to get the full Android experience. Still, it's a little effort for what looks like a fascinating project.