In this article, we’ll talk how to install *real* Android operating system on your computer (Desktop, Laptop, ultrabook) and enjoy thousands of thousands of apps from the play store.
We all love Android, as they say, love is in the air. Today Android is more than a mobile operating system, it made its way to TV, smart watches and now in computers and laptops. All you need is a USB drive to test out android operating system on any computer (including desktop and laptops), and yes you will get the same android experience – notification bar, Google play store, ability to do pretty much anything with apps which you can get from the play store.
Note: External hardware which requires driver installation work doesn’t work with the android operating system because you cannot install drivers as you do on Windows or Linux operating system. So suppose if you are using a Dongle to connect to the internet, it will not work, as simple as that. Neither the printer will print your documents, nor you can install drivers If your computer’s hardware is not supported.
How to get nearly stock android experience on your computer:
There were a time back few years, I had a dual core process computer which lagged like hell (things changed now because i recently upgraded to an i7 powered ultrabook) even at that time it supported Windows 10 (preview version), but as you know it didn’t go too smooth, and that’s the time I thought I could install Android on my computer and even found the Android-x86 project website.
I wondered how to install Android on my computer!
But I hesitated because I never tapped into anything new before. More certainly I wasn’t sure if that’s a possibility, so I asked one of my facebook friends if there is any way to install android on my computer and even send him android-x86 website link. He apparently told “the only way you could experience android is to buy a real android phone” Sure that’s something I didn’t want to hear and somewhere felt that it’s not true. Later I found that it’s possible to install android on a computer, all I need to download the android-x86 image and create a bootable USB like we do with Windows and yeah, it worked. That time the latest android x86 port was based on android Kitkat (stammer) I guess.
However, In these years they ported each android version with time being. At the time of writing the Android version 7.1 is ported (rc2), and the work for oreo x86 was started. Also, the latest version android 7.1 is pretty much stable, and you can grab the port for your 32-bit or 64-bit computer. The Android x86 project does not mean they have only 32-bit operating system images its just the project name goes by.
More usable Android Operating systems
We’ve seen how hot the internet goes when Jide announced and delivered a neat and decent modified android operating system called Remix OS, Things have changed they shut down last year, but while Remix OS was supported and maintained a new modified android OS project took place, and the project is still managed goes by name Phoenix OS.
Installing Phoenix OS
Grab the image file from the site and juice it your USB with Rufus (or in other words making a bootable USB)
Recently the company released its kernel source code so that others can add multiple fixes including hardware support after someone started a petition. Currently, there is no proof about the liability of the released kernel of Phoenix OS. However, yet Phoenix OS delivers the operating system that you can use on a daily basis. There is so much good of it, but including some Chinese bloatware as well as apps you cannot delete from the desktop itself. For instance, you can run multiple android apps at the same time, do word stuff with Chrome browser that you can install from the play store. There are some apps that may not work depending on their behavior, and some apps require such hardware and support that is only present on a mobile device.
On the first boot Phoenix looks minimal and clicking the start icon shows apps and other settings in Windows-7 start menu look-alike layout. The taskbar itself is inspired by the Windows 10 and it does a great work mimicking Windows 10 layout that feels so nice to use.
Create a bootable USB
First of all, you need a (.iso) image file of the Phoenix OS, an iso file is compressed file that can be used to create bootable media drive so you can boot to that particular operating system. Get Phoenix OS ISO file from here, please choose that it’s available for both 32-bit and 64-bit, to quickly check your computer’s architecture open local disk C:/ and if there is a Programs files (x86) folder your computers CPU is 64-bit, so you need to download the 64-bit ISO file from the site.
Once you have the ISO file, you need a tool like Rufus to burn the file to a USB drive (making bootable USB)
Boot from that USB
You can now turn off your computer and keep the USB plugged in and pressed the power key of your computer and mash the “ESC” key to load the boot menu and press F9 key to select USB drive to boot from it. Alternatively, you can go into BIOS settings to enable “boot from USB boot first.”
When you select the USB-drive, you will find a few choices, select the first one and hit the enter key. The OS will start loading, and within a few minute, you will be able to use it.
The home-screen look like this. It is easy to use for everyone, and you will get used to it in no time. It has the Windows-like taskbar and they actually act similarly the way we use in Windows. The start menu is consist of the Phoenix logo, clicking on it will show the start menu from where all the apps are displayed, and you can launch apps by clicking on them. Despite it is an android operating system and unlike the split screen (we found on real android phones) you can use more than two apps side by side like Windows. I have tested it on a touch laptop, and the experience was good enough to use this operating system in free time to roam around android apps.
Dual-Booting Phoenix OS gurr?
I still think dual booting is a bad idea for your current operating system, I myself wiped out the Windows 10 boot information when installing it on a hard disk. SO it requires more knowledge about things such as Grub2 bootloader and how you can enter your current operating system information so that next time you start your computer it will not act like there is the only single operating system which is now the android. However, if you are interested in going solo with an android operating system you can go, while note one thinks that this kind of android OS does not support USB drivers so any hardware that requires a driver will not work with it.
Discontinued, the last release was based on android marshmallow was released in December 2016 (It has been almost a full year and there is no update which certainly is the end of this project). If you’re still interested in trying out remix OS, you can get the ISO image from here, and install it using the tool that comes with or use Rufus to create bootable USB and boot directly to the operating system without installing it on your computer.
Related: Dual boot remix os with windows 10
Running android on your computer is fun, though it can be limited since it doesn’t support all hardware, for instance, sound, wifi & Bluetooth doesn’t work on laptop running on cheap Intel cherry trail processor.
From this point, Phoenix OS is the only promising OS, Recently, they released their kernel source so that other developers could add hardware support for niche community or making the OS support a wide range of computers.