An Android desktop meant such as the Project Ophelia could be a big thing coming soon, but is Android ready for the consumer market?
Is the Android desktop feasible?
I’ve been using a Google Nexus 7 tablet purely as Android home desktop for a month now, with a wireless keyboard and wireless mouse. It isn’t the most practical, but the experience is near good enough for similar products to come to market.
Android as an OS is nearly ready to be used as a desktop, it’s just apps that need to be updated. Using a mouse and keyboard to navigate on a 7″ screen isn’t the most intuitive, but it works. Every action is input the same way, to copy/paste you have to click and hold (as if you long touched), and then click on the copy icon. To paste, it’s the same ordeal. Not fully intuitive, not yet at least.
With a few quick updates, Google could really make an Android desktop feasible, as already some developers are supporting the non-traditional keyboard and mouse layout. Most emulators, Super Hexagon, and a few other apps work with either key bindings or the arrow buttons, meaning you don’t have to touch the screen ever, the ideal scenario for Android sticks or eventually Android desktops.
When Android desktops do come to market, they would be ideal as an affordable UI. All you’d need would be a monitor, the stick, a keyboard and a mouse…totaling say $400 for a good setup, with easier access for non-techies (you could set it up with a custom launcher like Smart Launcher for easier use), and access to the largest body of free apps – the Google Play Store.
Are consumers ready for it?
I don’t think it will have much success in the ‘Android OS for desktop PC’ market, as it will take Android a long time before it’s considered ‘good enough’ to be a PC replacement.
I’m ready for the first true Android PCs and Android notebooks, and rumors suggest many small manufacturers, as well as Dell, are ready for the Android desktop revolution. The question remains: are consumers ready?