Google is fashionably late to the Android desktop game, with Samsung, Huawei, and third-party developers working on that for years now. That does mean, however, that it is in the position to do it better, especially given how a native desktop mode would mean it will be more widely available and customizable. Proof of that may have just been revealed as a developer shows off a custom launcher for Android Q’s upcoming desktop mode, months before Android Q even launches.
Android Q Desktop Mode isn’t just about putting a panel at the bottom and calling it a day. That would be the easy part and one that many have already done. The real challenge for putting Android in a desktop setting is making sure apps behave properly in resizable and movable windows.
Google has already started the call for developers to update their apps for that scenario and has given them the API just for that. That’s one of the things that developer Daniel Blandford demonstrated in his custom launcher for the upcoming Android release.
The video also shows how the launcher can be themed, just like any other customizable Android launcher. Blandford says that Google has APIs exactly for that purpose, which bodes well for a third-party launcher ecosystem.
That said, the developer also says there are still many missing pieces, like the inability to display running apps on the “taskbar”. There are also critical bugs that need to be squashed, like a right-click crashing an app. There’s still a few months to go but, hopefully, Google will show its commitment to this new official mode of using Android by making it ready on day one.