Know How...

Apr 25th 2013

Know How... 41

Make your Phone Into a Computer

Did you know you could have a full PC in your pocket? Today, you'll know how to make your phone into your computer!
Records live every Thursday at 2:00pm Eastern / 11:00am Pacific / 19:00 UTC.

Today, we're going to take an Android device and make it like a traditional desktop.


Iyaz always wanted to carry a PC in his pocket. He tried out the Handspring Visor paired with a stowaway keyboard, but that was back in the 90s. Multiple vendors tried to miniaturize the PC like OQO or with the UMPC and it just didn't take off.

Enter MHL

Modern Android phones are coming along with MHL. What is MHL? It is Mobile High-definition Link that lets you get video and audio out of a single port from your phone. Your phone may have MHL and you don't even know it because it uses the MicroUSB connector that ubiquitous on modern phones. Find out if your phone is equipped with MHL here.

The Samsung Galaxy SIII Controversy

In our demo, we used a Samsung Galaxy SIII (a very popular phone). However, Samsung uses a different connector to provide MHL out. Read more about that controversy here.

The Setup

We used an MHL Adapter for the S3 and then connected that to an MHL to HDMI adapter. We then connected an HDMI cable from the MHL to HDMI adapter to a television.

We also installed a couple of apps to make the experience better. Nova Launcher lets us have a horizontal home screen. Then we also installed Null Input Method, which lets us remove the onscreen keyboard to free up screen real estate.

For inputs, we paired a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. We found a bunch of keyboard shortcuts.

Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Esc: back
  • Command + B: Browser
  • Command + L: Calendar
  • Command + E: Email
  • Command + M: Maps
  • Command + P: Music Players

To top off our experience, we picked up Splashtop that lets us access our home PC or Mac from our phone. When your phone is connected to a large TV or monitor, it replicates your laptop or desktop quite well.

Feedback - We need a name!

We want to name our feedback segment! Let us know what you think it should be called by emailing us at

Our audience is the most knowledgeable audience in the world. We got a great tip on Google+:

"Hello all,

I would like to share a tip based on episode #40 on overclocking. Many notebook manufactors, like LG, Samsung and Dell, downclock the processor speed for ""stability"". The reduction of the speed range between 10% - 30%.

Fortunately there´s a fix for this. It´s called Throttlestop. You can download it here:

Just run, set multiplier to turbo and click on turn on. You´ll see the difference.

- Marco"

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