palms on: The OneCompute Moto Mod could turn your Android phone into your laptop

Motorola OneCompute

We simply saw Motorola do something with Android that to date, most effective windows 10 has beencapable of do. Motorola’s OneCompute prototype Moto Mod takes the idea behind home windows 10’s Continuum function—the ability to assignment a home windows smartphone onto a laptop—and ports it to Android. proven at figure business enterprise Lenovo’s Tech world exhibition Thursday in San Francisco, OneCompute ought to further blur the line among phone and computing device.

OneCompute is conceived as one of the magnetic Moto Mods f9ef7d9e905d1a4504697a5c6dd610d7 that canclip on to Motorola’s new telephone, the Moto Z, introduced Thursday. The OneCompute technology usesthat Moto Mod as a wi-fi bridge to a stressed dock. The dock communicates with a conventional display,offering a computing device-like experience.

formally, Motorola employees said OneCompute is part of the Moto Mods Developer package, designed to show off the strength of Moto Mods and lure third parties to the platform. but each the Moto Mod and dock itself are branded and have the appearance of close tovery last hardware. without prolonged exams, it’s hard to inform what, if any, insects may additionally have crept in. however my intestine says that Motorola plans to deliver this as a product, and soon.

Motorola OneCompute hardware
Mark Hachman
Motorola’s OneCompute hardware: the Moto Z smartphone, the OneCompute Moto Mod, and the dock.
Why this matters: Peter Hortensius, Lenovo’s leader generation officer, counseled newshounds no longerto consider this as an Android version of Microsoft’s Continuum. Duly noted. but he additionally pointed out the surprisingly low numbers of users who may additionally own a windows phone. (To be truthful, Moto Mods will work with only one Android smartphone at launch, because of this OneCompute’sproportionwhilst and if it ships—may be similarly minuscule.) Motorola confirmed off the Androidversion of phrase cellular strolling on a Moto Z, filling a widescreen screen adore it belonged there. Oh, and it ran in a window that could be snapped to the left or proper, just like in windows 10. a majorproductivity benefit the windows cell platform loved reputedly simply evaporated.

A Kiss to die for
at the rear of each Moto Z are 16 metal bumps, which, while the Mods are magnetically attached directly tothe cellphone itself, provide electric energy and bypass facts to and fro. within the case of the JBL SoundBoost speaker or the Insta-proportion Projector Moto Mod, all of the hardware is self-contained. notso for the OneCompute.

Motorola Moto Z pins
Mark Hachman
The Moto Z’s electric connectiaccessories are how the magic occurs.
The OneCompute answer makes use of a Moto Mod with a chip embedded in it from Keyssa, a small Silicon Valley startup that hired the minds in the back of HDMI and the LPDDR4 memory popular, amongstothers. The company’s quickrange Kiss wi-fi era transfers information at about 6Gbps over very quickdegrees, and preserves USB, HDMI and DisplayPort protocols as nicely. (Acer constructed the Kisstechnology into the Acer Aspire transfer 12 S and its related dock.)

most Android tablets use MHL to breed an Android show onto an external reveal, but “MHL haslimitations,” Motorola executives said. For one component, MHL can be laggy. That might be due to the fact MHL also helps each five-pin and eleven-pin connectors, and maximum producers haven’t done a terrific task of telling you whether or not the phone or tablet truely supports MHL, let alone which connector it supports.

Motorola OneCompute dock hands
Mark Hachman
Motorola’s dock makes use of USB ports and an HDMI connection.
Motorola built its very own dock, which boasts three USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI output, and a energyconnector—all connected to the receiver via a quick cable. The external receiver’s vital because itincludes a charging plate, wirelessly charging the telephone because it communicates with the display. Conceptually, the whole setup is pretty ungainly—records is exceeded from the smartphone to the Mod to the receiver to the dock to the display through an HDMI cable—however it seemed to paintings inexercise.

A useful desktop interface
linked, the Moto Z displayed a desktop much like that of Android pills like the Samsung Galaxy series, with an few key icaccessories (cellphone, contacts, email) at the lowest of the screen, and a familiararray of icaccessories on the top. The simplest hint that the setup is rather uncommon are the threefamiliar Android buttaccessoriesback, domestic, and the menu key—which can be tucked into the nookof the screen, rather than the bottom.

Motorola OneCompute
Mark Hachman
The Motorola OneCompute app, which manages the hardware.
It’s not exactly clear what modifications Motorola made to Android to permit OneCompute, though thecorporation says they have been minimal. sure tweaks, but, are very home windows-like: windows hadoptiaddaccessories to snap it to the left, proper, or top of the screen. Apps could be windowed, andrecords reduce and pasted from app to app. applications could also be run inner widespread home windows, though this could have just been a wellknown Android N implementation.

in any other case, Motorola doesn’t seem to have achieved too much to facilitate OneCompute. Thebusiness enterprise authored a OneCompute management app and built separate AMP connect and AMP Disconnect apps. (A demo video that the organization created—and that’s in our attached video, above—shows that one of the advantages of OneCompute is the ability to dock and undock a video, at the same time as streaming, without having to restart it.)