Android updates desktop mode with multi-tasking enhancements

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"Android Desktop Updates"

Google’s AOSP has been updating Android’s desktop mode, which was first introduced in Android 10 for multi-display support. Evolving to dual-app screen view and free-form multi-window features, it enables running several apps simultaneously. It also includes a taskbar for easy app switching, notification center, customizable wallpapers, and a system-wide dark mode. That said, a high-spec device is recommended to take full advantage of these features.

Latest updates to Android 14 QPR3 2.1 beta build hint at some exciting enhancements to the desktop mode. For instance, a minimal title bar menu appears when a full-screen app is pressed from the top, providing options for full screen, split-screen, or freeform modes.

Other notable improvements include the ‘snap to edge’ function which allows full-screen apps to be converted into a freeform window. The Quick Settings tray has been repositioned to quickly access frequently used features.

Enhancing multitasking in Android’s desktop mode

Users can customize this tray by adding or removing tiles, offering a more personalized experience.

New additions also include the Notification History storing missed and dismissed alerts, making it easier to track notifications. Furthermore, there is a new universal search option allowing users to easily find anything on their device.

Despite these enhancements, certain functionalities like window positioning, keyboard snapping shortcuts, and desktop launcher are yet to be included and are expected in upcoming updates. With a recent launch of display output for Google’s Pixel range, expectations are high for an improved user experience in future Pixel devices, scheduled for release this Fall.

However, uncertainties persist regarding device compatibility with the upcoming update, as it is unclear whether it will extend to all phones or be limited to Pixels or Samsung devices. Google has assured that the list of compatible devices are being finalized, and further details will be announced soon.

Furthermore, Android is expanding its game support with Developer Preview 2 allowing games to exceed the 60fps limit. Epic Games Store is expected to be available on iOS and Android later this year. Developer Preview 2 is also supporting satellite messaging. Moreover, YouTube TV is extending its Multiview on iOS devices, expecting a similar launch for Android soon.

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