Patently Apple posted a patent overview for a desktop version of Android. The Google patent describes the use of a trackpad interface (or touchscreen) that functions as input for a desktop computer. Android was originally developed for use with a touch-screen interface so it is surprising to see a patent for the desktop.
The release of patent information follows the announcement of Ubuntu for Android. Ubuntu for Android is being marketed as a viable option to eliminate the need for multiple company-issued devices. Motorola is promoting a Lapdock for its multi-core 4G Atrix phone, which currently runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). The market is clearly responding to consumers’ desire to bridge the gap between phone and primary computer in a seamless interface.
Bandwidth throttling and device tethering continue to be a hot issue in mobile computing. It’s both surprising and expected to see providers encouraging increased usage on non-mobile devices like a desktop computer. In one respect, you’d expect to encounter throttling for ‘overuse’ and in another, bandwidth use flags your account for upsell to a higher-priced plan including access to more bits.
The Google patent demonstrates a possible, but not necessarily planned, future for Android on the desktop. This isn’t the first attempt to bring Android to an interface larger than the palm of the hand. Multiple apps exist already that are capable, even if partially, of bringing desktop and the Android device a little closer. This cozy relationship will most certainly become more intimate as the technology advances and consumers demand better access across devices.
- Air Droid – Cord-free Desktop to Device Access
- Motorola Lapdock – Portable larger-screen access to Device
- Motorola Webtop – Desktop to Device Access
- Ubuntu for Android – Desktop to Device Access
- LogMeIn Ignition – Device to Desktop Access
- OnLive – Device to Desktop Access (Android support coming soon)
The future of mobile computing involves an unlikely partner, the desktop computer. With the desktop as companion, do we really need bigger screens on our mobile devices?