Almost the perfect computing combination

My low end mobile phone died the other day, so I decided to treat myself to a shiny new Motorola Droid Razr. It's a speedy phone, light weight with a generously sized screen, which is all well and good, but its is not hard to get fast, light phones these days. What did impress me was the WebTop functionality.

WebTop is basically a desktop environment that you can display on an external monitor when you plug in a HDMI cable. (Actually, to be clear, without a rooted phone you can only use WebTop when you mount the phone in a Motorola docking station, but using a little app called Nebtop on a rooted phone will allow you to run WebTop with any old HDMI cable.)

WebTop allows you to browse the web in a full version of Firefox (I think it is version 6, but I can't remember exactly). Surprisingly you can install most of the addons available for Firefox in this WebTop version, which was a life saver for me since I can not live without Xmarks and LastPass. Flash 10 is also provided.

Additionally you can open your phones usual display in a window, allowing you to take calls and messages, and run the standard Android apps from the WebTop interface.

Over the last few months I have moved from working on locally installed apps to accessing a cloud based VM. I'm fortunate enough to be working for a company that assumes its employees have the technical ability to make use of a (somewhat) unrestricted cloud VM environment (using OpenNebula, which is kind of like Amazon EC2). As a developer it can take me several hours to configure a new development environment, so having a remote desktop means I can pick up and start working with a minimum of fuss as long as I have a PC and an internet connection.

Which got me thinking. What if I could access my cloud VM using the Flash based Teamviewer website from my phone? I could simply carry my phone, a HDMI cable, and Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and essentially have a functional workstation anywhere I could find a monitor and WiFi signal.

Suddenly it seemed quite plausible to turn my phone into a thin client. Unfortunately the Teamviewer website doesn't recognise the Flash plugin that comes with the version of Firefox in WebTop. Still, I look forward to the day when the office is where ever you choose to plug in your phone.

And maybe if the Teamviewer guys are listening - please fix your website to work with WebTop.


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