Thursday, March 21, 2013

Touchscreen Desktops for Android, Now a reality

Efforts are underway to get Touchscreen desktops based on Android

But it could take some time. 

Right now, everyone is focussed on the speed with which Windows 8 based Ultrabooks come out.

Support for Touchscreens
With Intel insisting on touch based displays for all computers that wants the brand of Ultrabooks, it is very clear about its confidence that the future will be dominated by its technology.

Until now, Windows 8 was pushed as the only operating system that was designed to support touch in desktops.

But Google would not be far away from spoiling Microsoft’s party.
Google is aiming to make it big by rolling out its flagship Android operating system for touch screen based desktops. This is like taking on Microsoft in its own turf.
At the CES 2013, PC makers felt there was considerable interest among consumers towards touch based computers.

The trend started with the arrival of all-in-one desktops.

With companies rolling out newer touch based all-in-one desktops, like Acer and Lenovo, it remains to be seen how consumers react to the Windows 8 touch centric user interface.

Though the Lenovo C540 is a lovely sleek option, the biggest factor that is against the success of the touch based desktop is the cost factor.

Acer’s touch based desktops, laptops start around $900.
There are plenty of other PC makers who have come out with touch based computers like Vizio, who are known more for their LCD TV’s.

The response to the touch screen based all-in-one machines, a 24 inch and 27 inch models have been lukewarm.
Motorola has also recently launched an Android powered desktop which boasts of an 18.5 inch touchscreen LED display.

The HMC3260 is based on Android 2.3, Gingerbread. Though the features are not eye popping, it makes a good start.
Future for Android
With touchscreen being the benchmark for PC’s of the future, the chances of seeing competition in the operating system market has never been brighter.

Android is bound to have upper hand in the touch based computers.

Though much has been written about its so called next gen touch based metro interface, Windows 8 has not been able to make a significant dent in the mobile operating system market share of Android.

It continues as the undisputed leader with unflinching support from all the hardware vendors like Samsung, HTC.

Compared to the millions of Android based devices being sold every month, Windows 8 has not been relatively successful despite its best efforts towards promotions and promise of a better UI.

The mobile turf war could spill on to the desktop space, traditionally considered a Microsoft stronghold.

Microsoft could take a look at the failed series of Google Chromebooks and be happy, at least for now.
Google Chromebooks were based on its own OS Chrome and most importantly, it did not support touch based interface which Android is capable of supporting.

Google is looking at extending Android’s success in the mobile space into the desktop as well.

This would find more support from PC makers like Samsung who also look forward to Android powered computers as this could potentially save them millions of dollars which they have to shell out to Microsoft as part of royalty payments.
Google had reiterated last year at the Google I/O, its annual developer’s conference that it was releasing an update to Android, Ice cream Sandwich that will one day help power big screened, touch screen based desktops.

This has been true till today as the situation has not changed.

Android is the only competitor to Windows 8 as the other biggie Apple will most probably not be releasing an update to the iOS with support to touch interfacing any time soon.

So this means no touch screen based Mac PC’s at least for the time being.
Once Google is able to learn from the mistakes it made with Chromebook and release an updated version of Android for Desktop, it would be a game changing move as it must already know that Android based computers offer flexibility to configure settings to enhance user experience, make computing a fun activity apart from also being a cheaper option.

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