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So, my love-hate relationship with Android is turning to pure love on this laptop.  The hate part is on phones and tablets where typing is an excercise in absolute frustration.  But when you have a REAL keyboard, Android shines.

As far as GNU/Linux distros go, Android actually has high-quality apps.  The same cannot be said for traditional GNU/Linux distros.  The one type of app that’s sorely missing from Android is a serious IDE.  There are some toy IDEs available in Play Store, but they don’t even come close to the usefulness of Visual Studio or Eclipse.

I’ve run a bunch of apps and so far they seem to work fine:

  • Play Store
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Twitter
  • WordPress (I’m typing this in it right now)
  • Chrome
  • Outlook
  • GMail
  • Microsoft RD Client
  • TeamViewer
  • Microsoft Groove (by far the best music subscription service)

As a matter of fact, I haven’t run across an app that won’t run, though I haven’t tried any games (I’m not a big gamer, especially the casual games that many people seem to love on Android).

Now, Kubuntu is also installed on this laptop (I had to, see my previous post about getting Android x86 installed).  I cannot see using it for anything other than an IDE host.  My main system had a hardware failure (the controller on my Intel 910 PCIe IDE died) and until the replacement arrives, I’m stuck without a computer to work on my projects.

Unfortuantely, this laptop is not a touchscreen hybrid or anything; you have to use a mouse to click things.  I’m not sure that’s entirely a bad thing, but when I’m feeling lazy a touch screen would be nice.  I may try to get my hands on an Acer Aspire R7 to install this on.

My favorite part of Android x86 is how good (awesome) text looks.  Fonts are clear, sharp and large.  I think in the desktop world we get so caught up in cramming stuff on the screen that mobile-centric operating systems seem alien because of their much better layout and whitespace usage.  Having to use your thumb on things means lots of space around clickable elements.  This forces the programmer to spend more time refining the user experience and it really pays off.  As I’m getting older (old?) my eyes are going bad.  I use an LG V10 T-Mobile phone, which is pretty big (not phablet big, but close).  Even still, I have to use the next-to-highest font size setting to see it when I wake up in the morning.  I’m so accustomed to Android apps being displayed with large text that I’m using a fairly high font setting on this laptop.

And it rocks.

In another post I’ll compare and contrast Windows 10 versus Android x86.

Thanks for reading!