Motorola is expanding its Edge Plus flagship phone with a new, desktop computer interface called Ready For. Similar to Samsung’s DeX, Ready For allows users to plug their smartphone into a larger screen (using either a USB-C to USB-C or USB-C to HDMI cable), allowing the Edge Plus (and presumably, future Motorola phones) to be used as a computer or even a set-top box alternative.
The company actually envisions four different use cases for Ready For. On the most basic level, users can convert the Edge Plus into a mobile desktop computer setup, complete with a Bluetooth mouse or keyboard — similar to DeX.
But Motorola also has more interesting ideas for how to use the Edge Plus. One more, for instance, turns the Edge Plus into a videoconference station, using the superior cameras on the smartphone (either the 108-megapixel main lens or the 16-megapixel ultrawide lens) for a better video chat experience.
There are also entertainment options. Players can pair a controller and use the Edge Plus as a makeshift console, either for native mobile games like Fortnite or with game-streaming services like xCloud. Users can also hook up their phone as an easily portable set-top box — Motorola envisions plugging the Edge Plus into a hotel room TV, for instance, giving you access to all your already logged-in streaming apps when you’re traveling without having to worry about your room’s Wi-Fi setup.
Ready For (or DeX) isn’t the first attempt to turn a smartphone into a computer. Mobile phone history is littered with past attempts, like the aborted Palm Foleo or Motorola’s own Atrix 4G’s LapDock accessory. And while Motorola’s use cases here are a little ambitious (and, perhaps, a little optimistic about the number of users who routinely keep HDMI to USB-C cables around), there are certainly more creative ideas for converting a phone to a larger screen beyond a half-baked desktop computer experience.
Motorola’s Ready For experience is set to roll out to Edge Plus users on Verizon starting today.