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How to use the Galaxy Nexus as a desktop replacement (extremetech.com)
58 points by evo_9 on Feb 22, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 19 comments

Christian Cantrell put out a video of him using his Galaxy Nexus as a desktop replacement...

Original video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_--zcmqIyRI

Part 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bB-icTl2J-c

Thanks, that was very interesting. Android looks to work very well with a keyboard and mouse, especially considering it is almost unused in this way today. Everyone ranting that android is a mobile 'toy' platform should definitely watch this first.

I was surprised how many programs had keyboard support (GTA III looked great, i suppose i shouldn't be surprised since it is a port of a desktop game.. impressive none-the-less).

I could definitely see myself using this on an extended vacation or such, and with some more time for google and application developers to get used to this usage type, i can really see it working very well, and it's not impossible it could start to encroach on windows' territory.

I have heard Android called a lot of things but "mobile toy platform" hasn't been one of them.

I have often thought this was where the future is going to be. For me the only question is will it be ARM based or will it be x86 with what I assume millions if not billions of dollars Intel is pumping into making X86 a contender for mobile devices.

Either way I love the idea of walking around with a full desktop in my pocket that doubles as an entertainment device, phone, gaming platform. The future is indeed bright.

I wonder if there's an easy way to switch Android into tablet mode in these situations. It is much more suited to desktop use, representing a smaller scaling of images and few if any swipe elements.

You can switch a rooted phone into "tablet mode", but as far as I know nobody has come up with a way to do this automatically when you connect the MHL cable.


A phone can't serve as a desktop replacement until I can drive Emacs, gcc, Python, and some sort of Lisp (like Scheme) with it.

Thankfully, there's this:


Got it on my Transformer. ARM Debian tablet with a keyboard and all day battery life? YES PLZ

Google needs to be a lot more pro-active about getting high quality apps on Android tablets.

I was impressed with the Atrix (Phone that docked into a thin laptop) when it was released. I still believe it's before its time but I'm happy to see where things are going. I'd love to one day carry my computer around in my pocket and just dock it at work or home when I needed to.

Two things would have made the Atrix useful:

- docking the phone into the trackpad area, using the phone as a trackpad + other cool stuff suddenly possible - Ubuntu instead of the crappy, crappy OS it used in laptop mode

Did you see the Ubuntu for Android post yesterday? You just described it exactly.

Just the Tegra 4 / 5 roadmap gets me excited for performance on such devices. The competition improving on Tegra by sometimes 2x. We are in for a real treat.

Very cool. I just switched to a Galaxy Note and this had crossed my mind.

I'm also open to any GNote stuff like this if anyone has!

Why? An OS built for small screens and touch input, shoved through HDMI onto a monitor is absolutely, in no sense of the word, a desktop replacement. Wait for Ubuntu for Android or add your own chroot and then you'll actually have a mobile desktop replacement.

This renders the Ubuntu for Android useless.

It does? This is just ICS + a mouse/keyboard and an HDMI port for video. My Transformer is just like this, except on 2.3 instead of ICS. Its at best a phone on steroids and a very limiting OS. The Android browser is terrible for everyday use and you can't just install a linux package and do your thing. You're just using mobile apps on a big screen with a keyboard. Whoopdeedoo.

Ubuntu for Android is a full linux OS. Its not Android. Its a full distro in your pocket. That's powerful and compelling. My Transformer? Its a toy.

Your Transformer should hopefully be 3.2, the laptop-like devices they did with 2.x were not a pretty sight :-) While the browser on 3.2 could be better, I don't think it qualifies as horrible. But other than that, I couldn't agree more.

This discussion and the previous one about Ubuntu on Android prompted me to finish a blog post I'd written a while back on the subject: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3622729

No, for a couple of reasons.

1: Competition isn't useless, especially if they take slightly different angles.

2: This works with your existing phone. Ubuntu for Android requires a new handset.

3: It's available NOW.

This and Ubuntu for Android couldn't be more different... One is Android on a big screen and one is actually a desktop replacement...

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