Update, June 24, 2019 (11:45 AM ET): Developer Daniel Blandford uploaded a new video to YouTube describing how his Android Q desktop system has progressed since we last saw it in May.
Based on the latest Android Q beta 4 release, Blandford’s desktop system — now known as Flow Desktop — has some new features, some design tweaks, and some new problems. As described in the video, several bugs within Android Q are preventing Flow from being ready for primetime.
You can watch the video for yourself here.
Original article, May 27, 2019 (12:20 PM ET): We know for certain that Android Q will be the first version of the operating system to feature a native desktop mode, akin to what Samsung has done with its own DeX platform. However, all we’ve seen so far are the basic functions of the native launcher.
Now we have a cool video from developer Daniel Blandford in which we actually get to see Android Q’s native desktop mode in some real action. Frankly, it looks awesome.
Blandford is using the Essential Phone flashed with the latest Android Q beta. The Essential Phone is wired up to a portable monitor with what appears to be a Bluetooth keyboard connected as well.
Check out the video below:
Blandford is using an experimental Android launcher of his own creation to make this all work. In other words, the launcher on the Essential Phone is customized in order to make the desktop interface on the monitor look the way it does. We learned a little bit about how this works at Google I/O 2019.
So far, Blandford’s layout looks great. Check out some screenshots below:
Unfortunately, this isn’t something you can try out for yourself just yet. Unless you know how to tweak your own launcher to take advantage of Android Q’s desktop mode, it won’t work at all like Blandford’s. Here is what native desktop mode looks like when you use the regular launcher on Android Q:
In addition to that looking far more boring as compared to Blandford’s layout, there’s not much else you can do with the desktop other than adding some app shortcuts and then launching those apps.
With Blandford’s testing, we get a great glimpse into what desktop mode could mean for the future of Android. Is it possible that the idea of owning a laptop could fade as we just connect our phones to a “shell” laptop and get our work done that way? It’s an exciting thought! Let us know what you think in the comments.
NEXT: Here’s every phone that’s compatible with Android Q beta 3
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