tech2 News StaffAug 30, 2016 13:38:28 IST
Maru OS, the latest attempt by developer Preetam D'Souza to turn the smartphone into a fully fledged PC has gone open source. The ability for a smartphone to upscale into a full desktop experience has long been a dream and conjured as concept art or concept previews. The dream that is often Hollywood like was started off in 2011 by Motorola with its Artix laptop dock and the Artix smartphone. The idea was revolutionary, but we all knew the drawbacks, and the experiment failed miserably in the market.
Despite the failure, the attempt by Motorola left all other device manufacturers and OS makers impressed. The original concept is trying its best to inspire a lot of projects than just the OS transforming the mobile device into a full flagged operating system for a proper desktop experience. The implementation gave birth to software solutions that brought/emulated mobile device operating systems on the personal computer like Bluestacks.
Major technology giants like Microsoft ended up crafting their Windows strategy using the concept where Windows could adapt to any screen, and the same idea and experience will move across multiple screens and devices. Gradually they added Continuum technology to their mobile OS which was a direct throwback to what Atrix was trying to do in 2011. After Microsoft, Ubuntu Unity phone OS is trying to do the same with the dockable phone.
The latest entry in this race for ultimate portability and liberation from the bulk of laptop while maintaining the productivity, Maru OS is the latest Android fork to try this. The interesting thing about this OS is that it mixes Linux distribution, Debian with Android. When hooked to a desktop, the mobile loads Debian to the desktop while the mobile device continues to run on Android. Despite remaining as two different pieces of software both manage to run simultaneously on separate devices while sharing storage and hardware.
Regardless the brilliant implementation of software, the biggest drawback is the fact that currently only one device is supported by the Maru OS, Nexus 5. Other disadvantages include the inability to add desktop-class components like external hard drive or ethernet line because of lack of a hardware dock. Lastly, the OS is based on pure AOSP based, Android Lollipop 5.1.1, which is now two major AOSP versions behind. Due to the complexities involved in the system, there are no added software tweaks and both the Debian and Android are pure versions of how the software is supposed to be.
Earlier Android and Debian were both open source and now the developer has decided to make Maru OS oper source so that developers can add changes, help in development or develop their implementation of the OS supporting additional devices. Preetam announced the Maru project back in February, but the code was put up on Github just now.
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