If you've been looking for a way to use your Android phone or tablet like a desktop, then OXI ROM is the latest addition to a plethora of solutions for your consideration. OXI is created by the French company Auxens and the ROM's current preview version was released on the XDA Developers website on February 17th. Unfortunately, only a few devices are currently supported and users will need a rooted device to install OXI. Supported devices currently include the OnePlus 3, Google Nexus 5X, Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE Advance, and Samsung Galaxy Tab S2. Despite the ROM's current status as an Alpha build, Auxens claims to have not experienced any crashes on their OnePlus 3 test device. However, they also warn that there may be bugs still waiting to be squashed and that it is always a good idea to backup your device before installing a ROM - especially one that is not 100% stable yet.
Auxens' ROM has two main differentiations from the CyanogenMod 13 ROM it is based on. It is intended to bring multi-window mode to a given device and to recreate a full desktop experience when that device is plugged into an external display. If you're wondering what that's like, YouTuber Charbax helpfully uploaded a video of the ROM in action at MWC on February 28 which you'll find below. Although the current version of OXI is based on the now defunct CyanogenMod 13, the company does have a version in the works which will be based on the Android Nougat-derived Lineage OS 14.1. Other short-term goals for the ROM include integration of a screenshot tool, the ability to fully shut down the main device's screen when attached to a display, and desktop-mode customization options. Long-term goals are also outlined as part of the Alpha release. For starters, the company wants to bring about the ability to have multiple instances of an app running at the same time when in desktop mode. A user would be able to have to document editors open at the same time, for example. They also want to add support for a multi-screen mode and to incorporate a proprietary file manager.
While emulators are one solution that has been around for a while, recent advancements have been made, such as the plug-and-play option created by Jide with Remix Singularity OS. There are even some rumors that Samsung's S8 will support an extended desktop mode when plugged into an external display. It stands to reason that a lot of users have probably been watching for these kinds of features and, with OXI ROM, Auxens is looking to provide a solution that is somewhere closer to the Samsung Solution and for devices that are not necessarily considered top-end devices anymore. Future releases are also planned to add support for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Redmi Note 3 Pro. Moreover, Auxens says they would like to add support for several other devices in the near future and are even willing to work with users to get the ROM running on their device - with the only caveat being that it is easier to do if the device meets certain conditions such as being compatible with CyanogenMod or LineageOS. So, it turns out that as long as you're comfortable installing a rooting your device and flashing a ROM, you may not have to shell out cash for a new device after all to get premium experiences. You can head over to the source through the link at the bottom for download and installation instructions.