Samsung debuted DeX last year to make your phone behave a bit more like a computer when plugged into a monitor. This year, DeX functionality has improved so you don’t need to expensive custom dock, just a video cable. At Samsung’s developer conference last week, it announced DeX would also get full Linux support. It’s only officially available to those in the beta program, but we’ve got the APK.
I remain convinced that this is eventually what all our phones will be able to do – adapt to whatever input method and/or display you hook up to it. We’re in the early stages today, with lots of rough edges, performance hiccups, and other issues, but eventually, we won’t bat an eye at walking into our homes and without us doing anything, our phone wirelessly hooks up to all displays in our house. Want to work on that presentation for tomorrow? Walk into your office, sit down, and your phone automatically wirelessly connects to the mouse, keyboard, and display on your desk. Want to watch Netflix? Just yell a command at your TV, and your phone plays season 7 of Game of Thrones: The Next Generation on your TV. And so on.
This is still a long way off, and it requires serious advances in wireless transmission and latency, but this is the future I want.
Wired docks will still be critical too. Display adapter + USB 2 hub for peripherals + 1GbE fits nicely in a single USB 3.1 port’s bandwidth, and will let you use your phone as your single “home PC” for most things assuming the software permits. There are already iOS and Android apps for RDP, SPICE, and PCoIP / VMware Horizon / Amazon Workspaces, as well as dozens of terminal emulators and SSH clients, so then connecting to “the big machine” for “serious work” becomes feasible for anything not bound by GPU or access to peripherals. Desktop workstations would once again become the domain of artists, musicians, scientists, and engineers that needed the extra local power.