Motorola is trying that ‘your phone can be a PC’ thing again

A decade after the failed Atrix 4G Laptop Dock, Motorola is taking another stab at turning a phone into your computer. By way of an Android 11 update, Edge Plus users on Verizon can now connect the handset to a bigger screen for a desktop-style experience in the vein of Samsung’s Dex. In a nutshell, that means you’ll be able to access all the productivity, gaming and streaming apps on your phone on a monitor or TV. 

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

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

Of course, a lot has changed since the Atrix 4G lapdock — essentially a dumb laptop made smart by docking the Motorola phone on the back. Smartphones, mobile and home internet speeds have advanced in leaps and bounds. In the interim, Samsung has arguably come closest to creating a smartphone-powered desktop experience with its wireless Dex software platform. If Dex and Ready For stick around, it could lead to more phone makers trying to usurp PCs in a bid to capitalize on the remote working boom.


Engadget

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