Nextbit’s Novel Take on Cloud Computing

Does this remind anyone of Connect 4?

Looks like the Robin “smarter” phone by Nexbit is a go; with 15 days still left in their Kickstarter campaign they’ve passed their $1 million USD funding goal, and will hopefully have devices available for purchase early next year.

Why should you care? Only because the Robin has a rather neat trick up its sleeve.

At first blush, it seems like there’s nothing particularly special here—apart from a Snapdragon 808 chip and dual front-firing speakers specs are decidedly ho-hum:

  • Screen: 5.2” IPS LCD 1080p, Gorilla Glass 4
  • Cameras: 13MP rear / 5MP front
  • Battery: 2680mAh
  • Memory: 3GB RAM / 32GB onboard / 100GB online

100GB online? Aha, there’s the trick!

These aren’t the temporary Dropbox or Google Drive gigabytes that you might be lucky enough to score on promotion with a new phone; it’s dedicated cloud storage for your apps and settings. It works like this: Any apps that you haven’t used in a set amount of time (I think it’s 30 days) get offloaded from your device onto Nextbit’s servers. What you’re left with on your phone is a greyed-out app icon; should you want to use that app again just tap on it; both the .apk and settings will be immediately re-downloaded for you to use straightaway. Obviously, the Robin is designed to use WiFi by default.

To see it in action for yourself, here’s a quick YouTube tour of the device and service by Android Authority:

I’m not so sure about that minty-fresh colour scheme (it’s also available in “midnight blue”), but the app offloading is an intriguing idea. The Nextbit team includes former execs at Google and HTC. The Kickstarter version of their creation will ship without any carrier locks, and also with an unlockable bootloader… Huzzah!

What do you think of the Nextbit Robin?

Sources: Android Authority (1) (2), Kickstarter

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