How to Turn an Android Into a Desktop

How to turn on old Android phone into a desktop.

All apps I used are free (keyboard was the only expense)
I mainly use mine for causally browsing the web (reading Toms Hardware, NYTimes, Gizmodo and the like), watching YouTube videos, and streaming shows/movies from a small server in my apt.
Its quiet, no moving fan, and uses less power than even your average laptop. I still have my 800W gaming machine for when i need muscle for real gaming or coding, but for 90% of everyday tasks it works great.

I used an Ug802 Mini Pc . But this should be applicable to any phone/tablet/ect. running Android 4.0 or later. Phones and tablets will need a HDMI mini to HDMI cable like this one . Obviously you will need a TV or a computer monitor with an HDMI port as well.


The 1st thing I did, was get Logitech k400r keyboard. The touchscreen on it works great with the Android OS. It worked as soon as i plugged in the USB receiver, no drivers or other software to download.


The first programs I downloaded was the Null Keyboard . This enabled me to type without the android keyboard needlessly coming up on the screen, since I had a physical keyboard to use.

Google got rid of flash support on newer android versions, but if you follow Adobe's guide, you can still download flash onto your android. You will need a different browser from Chrome to play those flash videos, i recommend The Dolphin Browser but Mozilla's Firefox should work equally well.
When using either browser, its key to change the settings to 'Request Desktop Site'. Having a page render in its mobile form is unnecessary on a PC monitor or TV.

The YouTube app works very well even on large screens (after android 3.0) so there is really no need to try to force it on a browser.

My Android device had an option under Settings, Developer Options, where I could prevent it from going to sleep if its plugged in (which it always was). If you don't have this option on your device, the program Screen Timeout Toggle can be used to keep the screen for turning off while your using it.

To browse for networked files on other computers, I used ES File Explorer but any file explorer program will work. To play your streaming content I've used VLC and MoboPlayer with no issues. ES File Explorer has a built in media player too, that works quite well too.

The Google Play Store has a while series of apps calling 'floating apps'. These programs run in 'windows' and not fullscreen. Which is great if you are using a large monitor. Apps like Tiny Apps are a good start in some small programs that run windowed and don't take up the full screen. As for watching videos in a windowed mode, there are several options available such as GPlayer. There is even a browser that runs in a 'windowed' mode, called OverSkreen Floating Browser


Lastly, if you are really missing windows, you can Install your very own taskbar and start button, called Taskbar (clever isn't it). This gives you a nice little start button on the corner from where you can find your apps, like a traditional windows environment.


There isn't a whole lot of need for most mobile apps, since they is usually a desktop component too that you can use by just going to their site.
If there are any apps or settings you think i missed, I'd love to hear them
 
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