Remix OS 2.0, the Android-based operating system that has been designed with a PC in mind, launched for the Nexus 9 and Nexus 10.
Android hasn’t been as successful as Google may have liked on tablets, and it’s been even less successful on the notebook and PC form factors. Part of the problem was that Android hasn’t changed its user interface all that much from the smartphone UI, which has made it appear lackluster on bigger screens.
At least for tablets, Google has tried to optimize the UI a little more, but because the company has been slow in doing so, Android tablet sales haven’t been growing significantly. This in turn has led to developers not caring all that much about optimizing their apps for tablets. The problem is worse for PCs, where Google hasn’t optimized the UI at all for that form factor.
One of the things that has been lacking on both tablets and PCs is native multi-window support, for starters, but also a familiar taskbar that can be useful on bigger screens. Remix OS brings both of those features, and it presents the apps and files that are present on your system as a traditional desktop operating system would.
Earlier this year, Jide Technology, the company behind Remix OS, announced that Remix OS and the Android-x86 project have combined forces to bring Remix OS to older x86 PCs. This merger allows more people to experience the Android-based OS on lower-end hardware.
For now, Remix OS 2.0 is still based on Android 5.1.1, which is to be expected. Developing highly customized operating systems such as Remix OS usually means that the company doing it will remain a little behind the main project.
With Android N around the corner, it’s probably not even worth switching to Android M right now. It would be better for Jide to get Remix OS 2.0 out of beta and release a stable build that works on a wide variety of hardware. Then, once Android N is officially out, upgrade Remix OS to it.
Android N is also supposed to come out with multi-window support. Remix OS may be able to take advantage of that feature to better integrate with the AOSP. This could make it easier for apps that are developed for stock Android to work with Remix OS’ own multi-window system and could eliminate potential bugs.