console os

A new Kickstarter campaign has begun to raise funds for Console OS, a fork of Android that's designed to run on Intel-based PCs that normally use Windows.

While the idea of running Android on a PC originally designed for Windows is nothing new, the team at Mobile Media Ventures claims their Console OS has been developed so that it works well on all kinds of Intel PCs. It states:

We've worked for the past 18 months to make sure everything from (optional) multi-touch to Miracast works great, and no, you don't need a multi-touch display for Android to be awesome on your PC. We've made the UX multi-touch friendly, and non-touch friendly too.

The developers claim that while Console OS can run on a PC's internal storage drive, it can be used just as well while installed on a USB external hard drive. It will also allow for dual boot options for PCs to run both Console OS and Windows. It will support running two Android apps at once, running side-by-side.

While a version of Console OS will be released for free, Mobile Media Ventures will also sell Console OS Pro, which will normally cost $20 a year and can be installed on all the PCs used by the subscriber. Console OS Pro will include extra features like running Android apps in Windows, remote access from any Android device, more codecs and media playback support, DVR features and lots more.

While Console OS won't have support for Google Play, the developers are working on their own app store, along with the ability to import Google Play purchases. It will also have the Amazon Appstore installed.

The company claims Console OS can be used on 25 Intel Windows PCs at the moment, from OEMs like Lenovo, Dell, Asus and more and are taking votes, via pledges to their Kickstarter campaign, to add more devices. The first version of Console OS Pro is expected to be completed by December. The Kickstarter campaign is currently looking to raise $50,000 in the next 59 days. People who pledge just $10 will be able to get Console OS Pro, along with any future upgrades to the OS, for life.

Source: Console OS on Kickstarter, Console OS webpage

 
There are 63 comments

patstar5 says:

I use bluestacks on my dell venue 11 pro, works fine and is free.

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DalvikART says:

Bluestacks couldn’t handle any of the modern games I threw at it last month. Just sent my $10 to these guys. Watch the video on their site. My Snapdragon 800 can’t do ES 3 like that.

Da Fuq says:

Bluestacks runs with less than 10 fps on my high-end PC.

wow.... what a scam. (to put it mildly)

this has been done already....

Check out our comparison chart at ConsoleOS.com to see why you're wrong.

hobbzey says:

I kinda agree, looks like a finished project awaiting release. If it's gonna be free anyway then why hold it hostage for 50 thousand dollars?

We're not "holding it hostage" - we're offering Console OS Pro with free upgrades for life. We would be accused of vaporware if we didn't have a polished build to show off in videos.

And, in turn, helping let the community guide us with Hardware Voting. Ideally, we can get enough traction to put off fundraising, which would slow us down.

speculatrix says:

Although there's an android-x86 project, I've tried various builds of it and never had it working.. either it doesn't boot and find the hardware it needs, or it won't install. That's not to say a lot of hard work didn't go into it.

If console OS works well, then kudos to them: building a polished complete operating system is far from trivial. I'll be trying it later today soon I get into work where there's lots of bandwidth.

Is there any way I could beta test this sounds cool. I have an older PC and I could put specs if needed.

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Kickstarter backers will get all the Developer Releases first.

HeroicLove says:

This is going to be revolutionary!

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Clak says:

I can't help but ask, why?

Because $200 Windows tablets should be able to run native Android too! Well, that and a lot of other reasons :)

npco543 says:

Good point, I've shoehorned Androidx86 onto a few older systems and while the concept is sound, it was never an entirely (or even remotely) pleasant experience. Having the OS optimized specifically for a PC, I suspect, would make a huge difference.

But here's a question - is it just specific pre-built systems you're targeting, or general hardware components? All my desktops are home-built. Either way, I'm still happy to give you guys $10. Small price to pay for a worthy cause.

Good question. The PC industry is moving to more iconic devices, and the OEMs have told us quite clearly that they want Console OS.

Custom built PCs? We aren't sure. We're going to make it a part of Hardware Voting. We may take the OSx86 route and provide hardware guidance on what hardware works best, and then have a "Custom PC" build that's unsupported. TBD, but backing the kickstarter and participating in Hardware Voting is the best way to be heard there.

KWKSLVR says:

That's the biggest thing for me. In a custom PC guy running an old Wolfdale... Surprisingly beastly for games. Anyway, it is what it is but if it doesn't work for me, then it doesn't!

Great project though!

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KWKSLVR says:

What about Surface RT support!? I've got one of those bad boys

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Surface RT uses an ARM processor. We are focused on x86.

greg1007 says:

Way i see it, $10 is a fair price for lifetime access and updates. I dont see this being revolutionary, or even something ill use particularly often, but I'll happily back a project that has potential for a full desktop release, and a proper desktop UI, for android.

Chanlion says:

Why not just use Windows or Mac or Linux. I mean the applications and power available from the desktop OSes are more bountiful. You build Android applications in Windows, you can emulate Android in Windows. So why?
If you want battery life, get a macbook with oogles of life.

You can't emulate Android apps well in Windows. Check out our competitive chart at ConsoleOS.com. We're scaling Android up so that Android can play games even better, and today's games will already play better on an Intel 2-in-1 or Tablet with Console OS, then they do on a device like Nexus 7. This is a play for the future - a future where your next full-strength gaming console is powered by Android, so you have one OS that scales from smartwatch to supercomputer, and does so with gusto.

Along the way, we're empowering great tablets like Venue 8 Pro and Miix 2 to do something never before possible - run Windows and Android side-by-side, with the same silicon. A $199 Venue 8 Pro or Miix 2 now is world's better (and faster) at Android than Nexus 7.

Chanlion says:

Ahh, so it's after the gaming market.

Gaming is a strength of PCs. Android is the world's most popular OS. So gaming is a key focus. We do want to dive deep into AOSP and implement full OpenGL 4. That's not part of the Kickstarter, but it would net Android the ability to handle the same caliber of games as SteamOS and Ubunutu. Already OpenGL ES 3.1 gets us 90% of the way there.

But our first focus is on making Android a touch-optional experience, as well as getting Windows tablets to rock Android via Console OS. Console OS refactors the UX to work with a keyboard and mouse, as well as Console OS Pro adding windowed app mode.

kcerica says:

I don't use my computer often but this might be cool to have if it runs as good as it says. It sounds like a great improvement over bluestacks and $10 seems like a bargain for what you get but I have a feeling it won't be compatible with my computer

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Dizfunctions says:

I would lol if they collect a bunch of 10 dollars payments then shut down the project. That said, I think this is a good effort and might just support it myself.

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You can see the live demos in our launch video. We're aiming to ship Developer Release 1 within a month of the (successful) campaign's conclusion.

Aikuchi says:

I was all in and excited until it said that there would be no Google Play access.

You will be able to sync and import apps from Google Play devices. We just can't install Google Play Store on the device for you. We have our own Maps and other relevant APIs that we're plumbing in, with additional benefits like locally-stored offline maps.

glazedfaith says:

They have workarounds planned, and there are unsanctioned ways to get Google Play on your device that didn't come with it.

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TurboFool says:

That was a complete deal killer for me, as well. You can't replace Play Services. Amazon's tried, at exceptional expense, but it's not the same.

CeluGeek says:

LONG RANT AHEAD
Let's get this straight. Microsoft caught a lot of flak for shoehorning a tablet UI onto PCs with Windows 8, and now these guys want to stick a whole tablet OS into PCs? REALLY?!

The main reason PCs still exist these days, aside from the gamers, is precisely because of the watered-down experience from Android and iOS. Things ranging from serious video editing, to emptying the trash and spam folders in Gmail keep proving day after day that phones and tablets still don't have what it takes to replace traditional computers. There isn't a single day where I've been able to do everything on my Android tablet without wanting to boot my computer into either Windows or Ubuntu. Long story short, my dual-core laptop still does more than any quad-core tablet or phone hindered by a watered-down OS.

Good luck trying to shoehorn a mobile OS with half-baked support for keyboard and mouse into a non-touch desktop or laptop and expect people to pay for that.

Well, for starters, PCs aren't just desktops any more. The Dell Venue 8 Pro is a tablet that is faster than Nexus 7, but is stuck running Windows. Console OS helps fix that problem.

In the long run, we're going to be giving app developers the tools needed to use the world's most popular OS today (Android, based on new device activations), and deliver the ability to have one app that spans from smartwatch to supercomputer. There's nothing in Android that can't be improved to make that happen. OpenGL ES 3.1 gets us 90% there graphically, and we're already starting to move on to implement full OpenGL 4.

Half baked? Hardly. We've spent 18 months building this to do it right.

sojibby says:

You're telling me that you have this working on Dell's Venue 8 Pro? If you respond yes, I am there with more than one $10 donation as soon as I wake up tomorrow. Man what I wouldn't give to make that machine... useful. I mean it's fine for what it is, but I would definitely find it worlds more useful running Android.

We have announced support for Venue 8 Pro. Our goal is to support every Bay Trail tablet - but Venue 8 Pro and Miix 2 (along with Transformer Book T100TA) are our first set. Check ConsoleOS.com for a complete list of devices we've announced.

And, again, backers can participate in Hardware Voting to help us chose what devices to support next.

Jeyrus says:

This post is quite old, but I hope you'll reply. Do you have the stylus for the Venue 8 working with Android?

MarkMcCoskey says:

I'm in! Love to see where this goes.

slackerjack says:

OMFG...give it up guys. OUYA is a complete failure, Shield is following close behind. People who want home consoles are willing to spend hundreds of dollars to get amazing experiences...mobile gaming doesn't offer any of those. Just stop...

glazedfaith says:

Yeah people! Stop trying! We love our Apple II personal gaming computers and our Nokia brick-phones! Enough attempts at innovation already!

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milesmcever says:

I would be happy with this as it would be an environment where I can run my android apps cleaner and not as a browser plugin or in bluestacks which gives me nothing but problems.

ryan moreno says:

I'm excite for this. I love my android devices. But I run Windows 8 on my laptop. It seems that android and windows have the great void separating the two OS. I for the most part can't get Google and Microsoft to integrate. I understand why for the most part. But this separation effects my user experience. This seems to be the answer for joining the two OS. Into a more seamless experience. To bad my laptop is an Amd processor.
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Subscription OS is something I cannot subscribe to.

To be clear, Console OS Pro is not a subscription. You just won't get the new features when we ship a new Console OS Pro upgrade, expected annually.

There is a free version, we have a $5 tier if you don't want the Console OS Pro features. At the $5 tier you can still vote on what hardware you'd like us to support.

Ahh, that makes a lot more sense! Thanks.

milesmcever says:

Make it kick butt as a VMware workstation and I'm really sold as then it can run on all my pc's. But most likely ill support you guys just because I like what your doing.

InstaSwitch is the long-term tech that we're implementing in that vein. A hypervisor works much better, once you get the GPU plumbed properly, because you can completely idle one OS and let the other take over - instantaneously. Then there are zero resources consumed, so Windows can't bog down Console OS (or vice versa).

kidkrooks says:

you have won my 10 bucks. shit I might even double it. I don't have a PC for gaming but I have an old dell latitude d420 that can use something that ISNT windows. chromium os isnt for my laptop. u fully include everything including the fingerprint scanner and I'll personally build a shrine for you guys lol

FiretrUCK2k says:

"It will also have the Amazon Appstore installed."

You lost me there. Can that be removed?

Yes. Like Android, you can disable most apps, including any app vending options we include.

Just like AOSP, any disabled app is completely disabled - can't run, can't do anything at all. You can even disable our UX and get a "Pure Android" AOSP experience.

tenfour04 says:

Why not license Google Play? It's going to be a hard sell getting all the developers to commit to yet another app store with small install base. And sideloading Google Play purchased apps won't work for apps that have in-app purchases or DRM, which severely limits the number of apps that will run with the full experience, unless you expect your users to turn to piracy.

We will not stand in the way of Google Play on Console OS. It's not us.

phor11 says:

Sell me on what differentiates this project from Intel's x86 version of Android (to ship with moorefield devices that have already been announced by several OEMs).

DalvikART says:

I think it’s pretty clearly laid out on the site.

This supports both current and upcoming devices. It’s not by an OEM, which I think is a good thing as they abandon devices. It’s has desktop friendly UX, optional. And it dual-boots which everyone seems to be terrified of in the hardware biz. ASUS had to glue to PCs together to ship a dual OS device.

If this wins, the floodgates on native dual-boot are open.

haris182 says:

Asus Transformer Book T100 have extra 500GB HDD on the dock...
Will it get recognized as an external storage or what?
Thanks

We do support that model. The T100TA with the 500 GB HDD is an odd duck. The HDD inside the keyboard dock is run via USB 3.0. The keyboard dock literally has a SATA-to-USB adapter in it.

We're working on options there - our goal is to let you have Windows on the HDD and Console OS on the SSD... or vice-versa. The challenge of moving Windows to the HDD is we have to reconfigure Windows to boot from USB 3.0.

But, above all, we are confident we can make it work. I have that exact machine, HDD dock and all, on my desk right now.

Just backed:) sounds cool! Now I gotta get me a compatable PC...

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Dark Reality says:

Meh. Android on Intel can be done. How about us peons with AMD chips? Seriously—if you're just gonna milk that virtual computing trick Intel laid out all the groundwork for... yawn... it's already been done. Now Android really isn't that complicated. Should be able to run on x86 natively without emulating via some Intel trick. Thousands (if not millions) of applications do it already. It's just nobody has the drive to. Full-blown Android, native speed, takes advantage of all hardware, and doesn't require an expensive Intel CPU? That'll surprise me.

As for Bluestacks, what a joke. You might as well tell a PC gamer with a good gaming PC that your Wii U has cool games. With a straight face.

Support for AMD will be determined by Hardware Voting, and also how much funding we raise. As to Intel... check out our Competitive Chart at ConsoleOS.com to see how we stack up against other Android-on-x86 solutions today.

So Ouya wasn't enough of a failure to let these guys know no one wants android gaming on a bigger screen?

It's a PC put steam on it and you are good.

Console OS is not just about gaming. We're about bringing Android back to the computer console. It's a bit of a double entendre.

Really though, if we can get OpenGL 4 running on Android (and we think we can), then the most popular OS in the world will be able to do everything Steam can. And, of course, we wouldn't stand in the way of Steam coming to Console OS and Android either.

speculatrix says:

I have a nice Fujitsu ultraportable netbook, the U2010 (also sold as U820).

it's lovely. Getting a bit old now. The downside is that it has the GMA500 video chip, with Atom Z530.

I really hope that this console OS runs on it. I never got android-x86 to work.

rbg17 says:

posters should check this thread for more insight...

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/android-x86/Cq7McLWCYOs

rbg17 says:

claims to have 5 years of experience....http://www.phonenews.com/editorial-console-os-birth-platform-27619/

problem there is no reference to any Project Full Circle by them in 2009...

Valve and SteamOS don't have a clue about them.....

MeeGo SF in 2011, shows no reference to any dev kit they introduce...

their iConsole Unit 00 hasen't seen any consumer devices and the supposed dev's who got it
in their own words Unit 00 "wasn’t popular with developers"

they've spent 5 years in "stealth mode" and have yet to deliver anything to consumers.....

there are many products today being delivered and available now that do the same thing...dual-boot with windows 8
and android......look it up

sounds like another vaporware product to scam people out of their money....

Brophen says:

supported :) looking forward to it