Google has been teasing us with the Android Q desktop mode for quite some time. While Android Q leaked in January, there was one feature that couldn’t be used. The “force experimental desktop mode on secondary displays” setting from Developer Options couldn’t be activated. However, things are different now.
Android Q now has its first beta our and it appears that this allows us to try out the Desktop mode as well. The beta is available on the Android Studio Emulator and on all Google Pixel smartphones.
How to test the Android Desktop Mode
If you have the Android Studio emulator you can try out the following ADB command:
Non-GMS: adb shell am start -n “com.android.launcher3/com.android.launcher3.SecondaryDisplayLauncher”
GMS: adb shell am start -n “com.google.android.apps.nexuslauncher/com.android.launcher3.SecondaryDisplayLauncher”
When it is turned on, apps will show up in free-form windows on the monitor. However, the navigation icons will remain at the bottom, while the status bar still shows up at the top. Therefore, the interface could use a couple of adjustments in order to look good on the wide screen.
This is not the first time someone attempts to transform a phone into a workstation. If we take a look at Samsung, it already tried something similar with DeX. Nonetheless, most attempts did not work because they were too complicated. A dock was usually required and it had to be connected to the monitor, the keyboard and the mouse, which made it more difficult to use.
It remains to see whether Android Q will be the solution for all that. From what we’ve seen so far, it appears that the new mode could use a couple of enhancements, but it is definitely on the right track. It remains to see how the Android Q desktop mode will look like when it will be officially released.
Nora Reynolds is a major in biology and a minor in Biological Basis of Behavior, writing about science in general. She also likes to try new gadgets and sports about the AI new era.