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Video: Use Your Galaxy Nexus As A Desktop Computer


These are the types of tips and tricks we love to see. In this video, a gentleman has taken his Galaxy Nexus and turned it into a fully functional desktop computer. By using a few items that any consumer could purchase or likely already has, this guy just gave all Android nerds an idea to gobble up their entire weekend.

Using a Magic Trackpad and keyboard (both Bluetooth), he was able to easily emulate a computer experience through his phone. Gestures on the trackpad work, shortcuts on the keyboard work, and since it’s Android you can multi-task. This is seriously one of the cooler 8 minute videos around.

Via: Clove UK

  • Aslkdf

    This is really old news. The desktop experience has always been pretty good; Android is developed primarily in an emulator.

  • Jdstell

    Oh wow that’s awesome. If only Samsung made some kind of device that allowed the phone to utilize its 3-pin connection. That way you could eliminate all those cords on the desk.

  • Kelly

    pretty cool, though I have a Transformer Prime, so it would probably be better with that considering you would have the tablet versions of the apps.  I hooked it up to my 32″ tv and it looks amazing.

  • I’m still wondering how i can use the MHL cable with a USB keyboard and USB mouse at the same time? Would I just attached a powered USB hub to the micro USB port on the MHL?
    If you can connect a wireless 360 controller to your phone and connect it to your tv and if onlive allowed 4g streaming. Then you  wont need to buy the next gen consoles!

    • Josh

      yes if u use a powered usb hub u can use usb mouse and keyboard. i did it with my stock gnex. my only problem was that my tv cuts off a little bit around the edges. that and megavideo got shutdown.

      • Sick, cause im not going to buy bluetooth accessories just to use with my phone.

  • Anonymous

    how was he able to rotate his home screen into landscape mode?

    • Josh

      your phone will do this automatically as long as you have the mhl adapter

  • Caseys Smith Cs

    where can i buy a mhl adapter

  • Butts

    Or just use your $4000 pc like mine and have your Rezound plugged in to sync….

  • Tatsuo

    Great video and concept demo.  It gave me some good ideas!  Thanks 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Even if you could do the same thing with other phones, the Galaxy Nexus has the display and stock ICS to take advantage of the eye candy….yea a MOTOphone can do it but not as good as a pure Android build can :)…with or without ROOT

  • Anonymous

    I use my galaxy nexus with a bluetooth keyboard and mouse in class to take notes and browse reddit. It works perfectly, you can even create custom shortcuts on the keyboard with quick launch.

  • Anonymous

    Tim A Tato, THIS is Great, I wonder how Skype would interact from your device through this method and other multimedia 🙂  Maybe this is why Google is launching there cloud service as part of the reason towards this direction in mobile. 

    Having a computer experince in your pocket sounds cool this was really great man!!!!!!!  And a great conversation for us 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Oh, the joy of having a Nexus.

    • Jim McClain

      well it might be a joy if they ever get all this crap fixed on it

      • Jnmigr

        I haven’t had any crap since 4.03 and trust i know of crap, coming from a Bionic.

        • Jim McClain

          im not rooted, should not have to root to get your phone to work like its supposed to,,, in my opinion

          • cwilson33

            Phone worked beautifully for me before rooted but I wanted wifi tether… only thing I had to do was purchase volume+ but I’m sure their are other free options. 

  • Spunker88

    Not that hard to do on any phone with HDMI out. I can do this on my Droid 3 stock with GB, by hooking up microHDMI and pairing a BT keyboard and mouse.

  • Jim McClain

    ok, so how can do all this on my 52 inch flatscreeen?

  • BeofWellingtonIIII

    That is so stupid.  Got to go..going to use my unicycle as a limo..

  • Anonymous

    … like it, are there more modes? I would prefer, if i connect it to a bigger screen android should switch to the tablet-layout … and maybe “3 (phone) home screens” at one (LCD/TV) page

  • TC Infantino

    Instead of getting into flame wars about what phones can and cannot do this I am going to comment on the story itself. 
    Motorola started us on this path with it’s webtop enabled phones and the proper accessories, and this demonstration video shows that android phones are capable of coming close to replacing the need for a computer.  Although I have to agree with Christian that we are not quite there yet, I do think that with just a little work on interconnectivity between peripheral devices and the phones we can get to the point where our computers are truely what we carry around in our pockets.  These phones are increadibly powerful for such small devices, and if the industry works together with manufacturers of keyboards and displays to make it easier to link them with the phones then I believe that we will see a new computing revolution. 
    Mix this with Cornings ‘Day of Glass’ ideas and we can really see some great things in the near future.  Having the phones combine NFC with Bluetooth for pairing with a display and keyboard, integrate wireless charging into all the new top tier phones, increase the internal memory of the phones to at least 4 times what they have now.  You could just set hold your phone close to the display and pair, then set the phone on the charging pad next to the keyboard and pair that as well, then your phone is charging while you are computing away. 
    I love this idea, and I think that we will be very close to seeing it in another 2 years, at least in a solid workable Beta stage.  We only need the industry to focus on making a standardized way of easy linking the screen, keyboard and trackpad, and possibly an external storage device. 

  • Collin

    This is GENIUS!! As a computer engineer, I believe I may actually have just found what I want to dedicate my life’s work to.

  • Anonymous

    How does he get the old ‘recent apps
     screen from Gingerbread on his galaxy nexus?

    • he said you just hit ctrl tab tab

  • Bm5447

    I wish I could hear what this guy is saying!

  • Anonymous

    He needs to change the LCD Density.  Otherwise, pretty cool.

  • B00mb00mchuck

    Totally caught me off guard with this… been doin it since september with my Bionic and i thought i was just saving money… : freedom pro bluetooth keyboard for android (look at it on ebay and youtube… awesome keyboard comes with an easel to hold the phone) : MicroSoft bluetooth 5000 mouse (ebay)… i do all this nexus stuff on my flatscreen or just on the phone sitting at Dunkin Donuts in the mornin… love the look on the iPhoners phaces when they realize what i’m doing… :-/

  • Jvrcb17

    I’ve always wondered about this. now all we need is wireless connectivity. maybe an HDMI bluetooth radio for any screen? 

    • Anonymous

      Intel uses wireless HDMI connectivity already. It uses Wifi. Called WiDi. It is built into newer high end laptops like my Vaio. I hardly use it but when I do its always a pleasure. Wont be seeing it phones for awhile if I had to guess tho just due to its power consumption. 

  • djembeman

    Sorry, but that is incorrect. Any phone that has an HDMI output can do this. It’s called HDMI mirroring or HDMI Mirror mode. I could do this with my LG Revolution on FROYO 2.2.2.

    All of the Motorola phones with the WebTop app are running Gingerbread 2.3.x and is actually much more sophisticated than this. I’ve never tried a touchpad to see if it can do the pinch to zoom, but two finger scrolling works on the Motorola LapDock 100 and LapDock 500. When you activate the WebTop app on a TV you can actually use your phone as the track pad and mouse buttons.

    Motorola is truly leading the way on this type of phone connectivity. I’m typing this on my Droid Bionic Connected to the LapDock 500 right now.

    The use of the BlueTooth Trackpad is a great idea that I’d love to try one of these days.

    Go Motorola!

    Droid Bionic, Stock-Rooted, 4EverRoot

    • djembeman

      This was meant to reply to Logan_Jinx.

    • Azndan4

      ^ motorola fanboy

    • Anonymous

      Motorola has nothing to do with this. It’s Android that has allowed manufacturers to build accessories around the operating system that gives users the ability to do this.

      Motorola has just created terribly expensive accessories to plug your phone into when you only need a couple cables and your monitor and mouse/keyboard that you already own.

  • I have been doing this since day one with my Nexus. It is really awesome, and would work even better when this becomes universal, and not just a novelty. The only thing that is missing (and I was sure we would have it with Android 4.0) is for it to auto discover screen size and adjust the interface accordingly. This the same version of 4.0 works on both phones and tablets, there is no reason to not get the tablet interface when connecting to a larger screen, and the phone interface once you disconnect. It is still not late though, I’m still hoping it’s there in 4.0.6.

    • Kuboo99

       That would be pretty sweet

  • Wish Android had the same quality of Office apps as iOS, then this could be really useful. iWork suite on the iPhone/iPad is really quite superb.

    • Hi

      You will never get a good office suite because google thinks the web is the future. They already have google docs so google will never make a real word processor. 3rd party vendors will never make a great office suite because android users don’t buy apps in numbers to make it worthwhile. So either learn to love google docs or come to the dark side. Pages, numbers and keynote await you. By the way, an iPad running iWork is like a small portable, productive. Slice of heaven!

      • I disagree with your comment on android users not buying applications. There are plenty of people who pay for apps. You comment may have had some validity a year ago but Android has gone into the corporate environment now. And, like @twitter-18536658:disqus said himself, he’d buy a good office suite for this purpose.

        This really should be a focus point, it would be huge for (short term)Android, and the entire mobile world(long term). Of course, I’m sure Apple just applied for a patent to use this technology after catching wind of the video. In a year, after it’s reviewed and submitted they’ll just sue everyone out of competition.

  • Anonymous

    Been doing this since I got my MHL a month or so ago.  Really is nice and no need for any gimmicks like the Motorola method.  Sure you get a full desktop browser there, but now that we have Chrome, who cares?  Even the stock ICS browser does well enough for flash content. 

    Oh and I am a nerd, so I will not be replacing my desktop(s, server, laptops, etc.) any time soon.

  • Ryan_laursen
  • Anonymous

    What if you accidently drop your computer in the toilet?

  • Harryeballs1234

    This phone is amazing! You can do anything on it except make a phone call you can hear or not get dropped….. Wait! This is a PHONE right?

    • Talkdj

      LOL!!! Amen brother. That’s the reason I no longer have a GNex. Had it for a week and back it went to the VZW store.  Nothing but dropped calls and the only time 4g worked was when I stood right by the cell tower (well not exactly, but you get the idea). I’m waiting to see what happens with quad core and ics later this year.

      And then there’s this, and I’m not trying to start a flame war here but, I am very interested in seeing what the iPhone 5 brings to the table. Just saying, with that coming out it will be interesting to see what Android has to offer with updates and what manufacturers offer with different models.

      • I’d be willing to bet it’s not much more than a CPU boost, 4” screen and LTE. Trying to be objective on this.

        Every year people hype up and wonder what kind of amazing features the next iphone will bring. Every year people are immediately disappointed by the fact that they really didn’t improve much on the hardware side. Then in the weeks after announcement people change their minds and say they revolutionized the device once again.

        Just saying, don’t hold your breath. Apple doesn’t do big updates, they only keep up with what should be expected based on current technology. Holding out just enough to make you want the next one.

        • Jdstell

          Love when everyone says, “Just saying”.

  • Spoken Word™


  • Logan_jinx

    Saw this earlier this week and have been thinking about getting a bluetooth key board ever since I got my Nexus in December. I really to hook this thing up to my tv

  • Philip A. Kaiser

    If you are impressed by this, that is living proof that Motorola wasted their money on stupid ninja lady and motorcycle dude commercials and should have actually advertised their phones features instead. Stupid Motorola. Stupid!

  • Philip A. Kaiser

    I guess no one has seen a lap dock? The RAZR natively supports this right out of the box. Seriously guys, has no one been paying attention? This was the hardest feature for me to give up when I got my Gnex. I used my HD dock everyday. On trips, I hooked up to my room’s TV and used a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard. Bam, 42 inch PC with everything I could possibly imagine, from a phone. I think while everyone was blinded with unlocked boot loader babble, they completely ignored features like this.

    • KevinC

      no it doesn’t support it out of the box, you need a lapdock.  LOL.

    • Brian Walker

      Nobody is saying it’s new, and he certainly didn’t say that it’s exclusive to the Nexus. This is more of a “Hey, not sure if you thought of this yet, but you can do this stuff with modern phones!”. If he had used a RAZR, and advertised it as a way to not have to buy the lap dock, I’m sure you wouldn’t have had anything negative to say. 

    • Michael Quinlan

      I think the big thing here is that you do this without a lapdock, on a phone that doesn’t have a “WebTop” feature.  Not that I haven’t done it myself with my Bionic, TV, and Motorola bluetooth keyboard and mouse, but getting the idea out in public is a good thing.

    • Anonymous

      How does this compare to an expensive cumbersome lap dock?

      All you need here is a couple cables and a monitor/keyboard/mouse that we already own.

      Remember, Google built Android, so it’s Google who’s allowed this to occur, not Motorola. 

  • Artimis

    Lol, I just got one of these setups going on my Nexus yesterday 🙂

    Cheaper than buying a PC and works just as well for what I’m using it for.

  • Anonymous

    This really really cool, but this lacks the same functionality that stops the Transformer Prime from being a perfect ultrabook and that is that the Nexus is good for consuming, not for creating. You could use this all day to surf youtube, the web, look at pictures, read books, etc… but Android does not have the applications to support powerful editing, photoshop, word processing, excel, etc…

    I know this was just for a cool demonstration and no where did he mention that this was a full blown desktop replacement, but if Android could get real programs that allow you to create then they could attack the computer market instead of just the mobile market and it would be awesome.

    Maybe Jellybean will be the start of this for us? 🙂 One can dream.

    • Chris G

      I use my TFP as a laptop replacement when I travel.  I can create basic word docs for trip reports and most importantly I have a place to clear my memory cards to keep taking pics.  

    • That really all depends on what yo want to do. There is Photoshop Touch (which is fairly decent, although it is no Photoshop), and I use all of Google’s web products in the browser (regular desktop versions). Seeing as how I use Google Docs and Gmail on a laptop, I don’t see the difference. Almost any web app works for that matter.

      Also, I RDP into several different servers that I manage with my Galaxy Nexus, and then the possibilities are endless — the phone becomes a full-feature thin client.

      Yes, we take creation for granted on regular PCs, and we are not quite there yet for phones (we may not have 748 different options for the same thing), but it is definitely possible and very convenient to create content on a phone.

    • TC Infantino

      Yes, that is true, but…this is one step closer.  And for quite a few people, creation is a very small part of what they use their computers for.  At work I use quite a few office programs and deal with docs, spreadsheets, and powerpoints, but at home I am usually just consuming, with the occasional forum, email, IMing, etc.  Most of the people I know use their computers for primarily consuming, and those who need a computer for doing a good amount of creating would of course have a full computer that would fit their needs.  The smartphone as computer could be the alternate for when they are using the computer casually.

    • Anonymous

      Google Docs would like a word with you.

      I use it almost every day on my tablet as a full featured Office suite. If I need to print, I can go to any PC with web access, download the file and print. VERY handy for college where I prefer to carry my Xoom with a smaller bluetooth keyboard and mouse instead of a full sized laptop. That and I can get 5-6 hours of consumption on my tablet without needing a recharge. 🙂

  • Kuboo99

    Only trouble is that you can either use the MHL to get video out, or you can use real usb peripherals (with on OTG cable) but you can’t do both simultaneously as far as I know. (Since they both use the phones micro usb port)

    • I actually don’t see a reason why it would not be possible. The real problem is that there is no adapter to do that, but that is an easy fix.

      • Anonymous

        Honestly, we just need a splitter.

        • That might work — do they have USB splitters? I’d be more inclined to try a powered hub (since the phone really can’t power too much at all).

          • I’d be really interested in finding out. Would be pretty cool. There are a lot of nice USB(and wireless USB) keyboards with full size trackpads.

            Maybe we could actually use the droid-life forums to discuss it! Haha.

          • Maybe. Start the thread, and I’ll join. I really hate (wireless) USB keyboards/mice/etc. I would so much rather use Bluetooth. I know that a lot of them are great quality and usually cheaper, but they still annoy the living hell out of me.

            With that said, I am still going to try a USB hub — maybe I can scrape enough stuff together at the office so that I don’t have to buy anything — to see if I can connect multiple peripherals, and what the current limitations are.

          • I understand that but if you have a station set up at your desk for it, it might work. I just don’t like the idea of buying apple products even though their trackpad is the best option. I just don’t like them as a company, regardless of how solid the product is. If it works there’s no reason wireless USB wouldnt work, then you could be mostly wire free.

          • My issue is not real, in that I have not experienced great strife with a product, and now I don’t want to use it. My issue is that I like to push technology, and I like things to work well across the board. Bluetooth, as we are seeing, works across a ton of devices, no questions asked, and if someone makes a Bluetooth mouse, it’s the same Bluetooth mouse as all the other guys and will work the same way (theoretically). As much as I hate to admit it, I am using iProduct accessories as a model here. With wireless peripherals though, you still need that USB port — where is the point of wireless at this point? These sorts of wireless peripherals just get in the way of technological advancement. Since we have wireless USB mice, keyboards, etc., Bluetooth development is not going as fast as it could be (and why should it, consumers are not demanding it?). Because we try to do “just enough” right now, the stuff that we want tomorrow is not coming. That is my real problem, and that is why I demand Bluetooth peripherals — I demand unity in products.

          • I never really thought about it that way but you make a really good point.

            Hopefully that extra push will come from things like we’ve been talking bout. Being able to use your device as your main computer.

            I guess the more likely scenario will be docks docks and more docks because that will guarantee more sales.

          • Ok topic started under the accessories forum.


    • Anonymous

      That is why the mouse and keyboard are Bluetooth.

  • Mohammedali Gangardiwala

    This is pretty badass..Hail Android….:D

  • Yep

    Anyone know what notepad app that was?  I’ve been looking for one like that (Apple-ish, no ads, preferably syncs w/ Gtasks)

    • James

      Its called Color Note.  It’s very basic but gets the job done.

      • Yep

        Thank you kindly

  • Angryunibrow

    How does he get his homescreen in landscape mode? My nexus does not rotate when held horizontal?

    •  I know custom roms have the option

      • Angryunibrow

         But in the beginning of the video he states he has no hacks and is completely stock?? and that’s how my phone is currently

    • Someone

      when you plug in the HDMI adapter it will switch automatically

      • Angryunibrow

        Awesome thanks!

    • Watts1971

      Nova Launcher rotates and looks just like stock, but has great features.

  • webby

    Verizon will be very very excited and pleased that this capability is being publicized.  🙂

    • Anonymous

      just in time to announce.. their web docks! (since it does have dock pins on the side)

      • Not to mention you don’t need to tether if you’re using it as your main computer either.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, this is pretty game changing.  Instead of having desktops and laptops and tablets, this could really be the way to go.

    • One day, computer components will be so small, all desktops and mobile machines will prob use the exact same, low-power hardware. 

    • Anonymous

      You sound like an Apple fanboy. Why is everyone on this site making this sound like it’s the best thing since sliced bread? Guess what? CM7 and Moto have had this feature over a year ago! Go back in your hole nexus trolls.

      • Anonymous

        Did I say anything about the Nexus?  Of course this can be done with any android device.


      • Jdstell

        lol. I upgraded from a Droid X to a GNex. Let’s just say, I won’t be going anywhere near Motorola products again for a long time…

    • Anonymous

      I’d still use tablets with my phone. Tablets are very nice for a portable but still decent screen size for working on documents. I use mine every day at college for working on projects. Then, when you go home, you could plug in your phone (or even your tablet!) and mirror it to a bigger screen to finish it up. 

  • jony

    Actually this is what I do with my Razr. I use a laptop for everyday work and mobility. But at home, I do mainly web browsing, email and some multimedia for which I have the following setup: 22″ HD monitor+ razr HD station, BT keyboard and mouse. I got rid of my big aging and noisy pc tower, and I’m very happy with this.

  • Robertmacri

    Mhl cord, keyboard, and mouse… I’ve been doing it, I guess I should have Youtubed it.

  • This would be so much cooler at a 240 density…

    • Load a custom ROM,

  • Anonymous

    Figures you’d have to use Apple components to make Android work.

    Oh come on! I had to!

    • http://www.directron.com/gkm611b.html?gsear=1 bam. got this a while ago, works great across phone, tablet, laptop and ps3, keypad is multitouch 

      • Looks like it would work but it looks like the trackpad would be frustratingly small. What are your thoughts on that?

        • Anonymous

          Yeah, I would have to agree but if it works it works :), I like using the Apple track pad we have one at work I think I’ll try to see if the cables are around and use the same set up.

        • it is annoyingly small, the one and only downside, but the 2-finger scroll is what makes it all come together. i sent the sensitivity way up, it was too low i thought to begin with, and the pointer can make it to each corner without lifting a finger. 

          • and its pretty cheap, decent build-quality 

    • Nope, any Bluetooth keyboard and mouse work. He just happens to be using Apple ones.

  • Princesation

    can’t you do this with any phone ?

    • Logan_jinx

      Only android 3.1 and 4.0 and higher

      • djembeman

        I tried to reply to your comment, but for some reason it just replied to the main thread.

        Basically you are really wrong. Gingerbread 2.3.X is on all of the Motorola phones that support WebTop.

        • Anonymous

          Yes, and Motorola phones use HDMI ports.

        • Logan_jinx

          The Motorola phones don’t count because the phones OS doesn’t support mouse input. The Motorola phones use the Custom webtop OS. The honeycomb and ICS devices support mouse input natively

          • Anonymous

            That is complete BS. I have used a RAZR in both webtop and regular mode and bluetooth mouse and keyboard work just fine. I really wish there was a custom rom for nexus that had webtop 

          • TheRobotCow

            I can use my ps3 controller on my droid 2 🙂

          • my SGS1 has a mouse feature, 2.3

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  • so all we need is an mhl cord?

  • Oaxican509

    That is the future son!