Brown’s Bytes – The Mobile Only Challenge: Week 3 Update


16th February 2018

Spoiler Alert! I’m still going!! We’re now in week 3 and my Surface Pro has not been powered on so far in February…

Week 3 Update

I have already gone through the basics of using Office Apps on my phone last week. This week I’m looking at slightly more advanced uses of a phone as a desktop.

Clearly a phone can’t run everything that a PC can. So, the obvious thing to try was whether I could get a Remote Desktop working reliably on my DeX Docked Phone. If I can get this to work reliably then I could potentially overcome any gap between full fat Desktop PC and my docked phone.

So, this should be easy I thought.

Off to the Google Play Store to find a Remote Desktop client… and I strike instant gold with one actually provided by Microsoft!

Microsoft Remote Desktop

Perfect then. One quick download and install later and I’m up and running… or so I thought.

Whilst the Microsoft Remote Desktop App is indeed a great tool for a phone, it unfortunately hasn’t been optimised for use on my DeX Station. The result of all this was that I could fire up a remote desktop perfectly, but in a tiny window the size of a phone on my desktop! With a considerable amount of squinting and very careful clicking with a mouse I could just about navigate around, but it was clearly not going to be the solution I needed.

So, a quick Google about this soon highlighted that I was far from alone in my desire to do a full screen Remote Desktop and that it needed a bit of tweaking to make it possible.

The Solution came from another trip to the Google Play Store. This time for a fantastic App that’s been put together by a clear DeX enthusiast called Dex MAX

DeX MAX – Tweak for Samsung DeX

This is a properly impressive piece of tweaking software. It allows a number of functions to be performed beyond the out of box experience provided by Samsung:

  • Tweak Wallpapers
  • Load Android Widgets onto the DeX Desktop
  • Amend advanced DeX settings
  • Load Apps that are not DeX enabled in a larger Window

Perfect then – I could use DeX MAX to launch the Remote Desktop App and make the window big enough to work in…

Still didn’t work. The App refused to play ball and I was left stuck with a tiny remote desktop.

I finally found that DeX MAX also has something called “Expert Mode”. Clicking on this showed an ability to force Apps to run DeX Optimised. The DeX MAX App is able to take any App installed on the phone and recompile it with DeX enabled code. Once this is done, you remove the original App and side-load the resulting App back on to the phone.

That is frankly amazing (and rather scary) stuff – all on a phone.

And it worked! It is now possible to have a full screen Remote Desktop available if needed. As a test it proved extremely useful. Once you have a Remote Desktop then you could do just about anything work related.

The method of doing it does rather preclude it’s use from the Enterprise, but it does show what is now possible on a modern phone.

So, the testing goes on. I’ve managed to continue working DeX only so far in Feb and have completed the majority of my wish list of use cases.

However, I am starting to find an Achilles Heel to the Mobile Only lifestyle – more on that next week.

Watch this space…