Desktop mode is probably the most overlooked Android Q feature because, to be honest, it’s not that easy to notice from the regular user perspective. The exciting thing is it confirms Google’s plans to extend Android to desktop and monitors. The company is already asking developers to start porting their apps to the respective resolutions. Considering Android’s nature and one of its biggest selling points, the desktop mode is also quite customizable. In fact, a developer has already created a custom launcher which adds some very interesting features to the ecosystem.
The launcher is still at the early stages, but the proof of concept can be seen in the video below. The developer behind the project, Daniel Blandford, mentions that Google provides most of the APIs and services required for building a custom launcher for Android Q’s desktop mode. Though there are some nasty bugs. Clicking the right button on the mouse and opening a context menu causes any opened application to crash. The custom launcher does have all the basic features working, like freeform windows, volume controls, and other system dialogs. Mouse and keyboard input support is also present.
The developer also mentions that he has no interest in releasing the app before all of the bugs are fixed. There are some API restrictions that he expects to be opened by Google. For example, you can’t show running applications’ icons in the taskbar. Also, you can’t turn off the phone’s screen without the desktop mode going into a screen saver. We talked to the developer of the launcher and he wants to release the stable version of the application around the same time as the final build of Android Q.
This app is exclusively made for supporting Android Q’s desktop mode, but regular custom launcher’s developers can also add the required APIs to add desktop mode support in their apps. You may see a desktop mode feature from your favorite launcher. Keep in mind that both Android Q and the desktop mode are in the beta stage as of now. Expect a stable release somewhere in Q3 of the current year.