Android on PCs, that’s definitely been thought of and done before, if the number of Android-powered all-in-one’s and laptops of late is any indication. However, Mobile Media Ventures, the people behind iConsole.tv have an even more ambitious goal: to run Android side by side Windows on any PC of your choice.
Perhaps iConsole.tv’s Unit 00 unveiled last year will speak to the company’s chops. Or perhaps the relatively unknown brand will make others wary. Whatever the case may be, Console OS has a dream for Android on the PC, and that dream is quite enormous. Android has had various ports for Intel (or AMD) hardware for a long time now, ranging from Android-x86 to emulators to the versions shipped by OEM’s like ASUS or Acer. None, however, come close to the matrix of features that Console OS aims to deliver. First of all, you’ve got an easy dual-boot option, or at least simply dual-boot in the beginning, with the easy part coming later down the road. You’ve got complete Android 4.4 compatibility, versus the buggy or partial versions shipped by other similar endeavors. And perhaps most interestingly, you’ve got Google Play Store support, or so the team claims.
Console OS is being marketed not only towards casual or even every day users of Android but especially to gamers also. This subset of Android users have the most to benefit with hardware that go beyond the limited power and capabilities of even the mightiest tablet or smartphone. As far as hardware is concerned, Console OS is promised to work on many PCs, but the number of supported models are actually not exhaustive. Many are laptops but quite a few can be identified as tablets or hybrids. Console OS claims that this is because, like Android on mobile devices, Console OS has to build Android for specific devices as well to ensure full compatibility. Other makes and models can be added, but that depends on the votes of Kickstarter backers.
Yes, this is a Kickstarter thing, and this is probably where the dream starts to fall apart for some. This isn’t a finished product yet, though Console OS already has a head start, at least as far as basic functionality goes. There are still some missing bits, some of them quite important. InstaSwitch is one, which will allow users to switch between Wndows and Android at the push of a button. WindowFlinger is another, which brings true windows (with the lowercase “w”) to Android, allowing things like running Android apps side by side. Perhaps most worrying for existing Android users is that there technically isn’t any Google Play Store, but Console OS promises that they will be able to import Play Store purchases easily
Console OS also wants to target OEMs, and though they might find interested ears and supportive voices there, they will most likely also find the biggest resistance, if the stillborn Samsung ATIV Q and ASUS Transformer Book Duet are any indication. Still, if you believe in the vision and trust in the makers, this Kickstarter might be the best time for you to jump in. At $10, which is a limited slot offer, you can get one copy of Console OS, with free upgrades for life. After Kickstarter, it will cost $19.99 a year. Console OS plans to have a developer release around September and a 1.0 release by December.