Sunday, April 11, 2021

Motorola tries again that ‘your phone can be a PC’

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A decade after the failure Atrix 4G Laptop docking station, Motorola is once again trying to turn a phone into a computer. Through an Android 11 update, Edge Plus Verizon users can now connect the handset to a larger screen for a Samsung-style desktop-style experience Dex. In a nutshell, that means you will be able to access all productivity, gaming and streaming apps on your phone on a monitor or TV.

Motorola hopes you’ll use it for everything from editing work documents and video calling (which should look great thanks to the solid collection of cameras on the Edge Plus) to reading. Fortnite – or a cloud gaming service like Xbox Game Pass or Google Stadia (via bluetooth controller) – for watching Netflix.

The new “Ready For” platform uses a multi-window interface that launches when you connect to a display through the USB-C or HDMI port. You can also add accessories like a keyboard or mouse to better match the feel of a desk. There is no dedicated app and you can use your phone as a second screen while working on a larger screen. To help with that, Motorola is releasing a “Ready For” dock on April 19 on Amazon, with pricing to be announced closer to launch.

Of course, a lot has changed since the Atrix 4G lapdock – basically a dumb laptop made smart by plugging the Motorola phone into the back. The internet speeds of smartphones, mobiles and individuals have grown by leaps and bounds. In the meantime, Samsung has arguably moved closer to creating a smartphone-powered desktop experience with its Dex wireless software platform. If dex and ready for stick around, this could cause more phone makers to try to spoof PCs in an attempt to take advantage of the remote working boom.

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