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[Discussion] Android 15 Update to Revolutionize Desktop Mode with Enhanced Features and Expanded Compatibility

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Desktop Mode Enhanced for Android Devices

Longstanding users of Samsung smartphones and tablets have had the benefit of DeX mode, an innovative tool that turns these devices into miniature PCs by simply connecting them to a monitor, TV, or accessories. On Android, however, there is a similar feature, known as "desktop mode". This tool, considerably limited in functionality and only made available to developers, could soon see a substantial upgrade, predicted to be launched more broadly to Pixel devices and non-Samsung Galaxy products, via the upcoming Android 15 operating system update.

Newly Discovered Desktop Mode Features

Android Authority's Mishaal Rahman has found a new version of desktop mode within the recent Android 14 QPR3 Beta 2.1 update. Rahman also enabled new features and updates within the application for testing. The practical demonstration revealed that the software now offers more flexibility when dynamically resizing and moving applications, adopting a tab or window view. Shortcut buttons too are available for certain functions, such as enabling split-screen mode, maximizing the screen, and accessing a custom view menu. Based on a test involving a Pixel 8 Pro, the overall user experience was smoother and more fluid than before.

Limited Compatibility and Potential Launch

Despite the enhancements, desktop mode in its current format cannot compete with Samsung's DeX or Motorola's 'Ready For Mobile'. Out of the box, Android's desktop mode is compatible with a limited range of keyboards and mouse options. Many of these keyboard functions are not supported, and there is only a small number of Android applications that are compatible with it. Current predictions suggest that Google will release the final version of the new desktop mode with Android 15. The debut device to feature this could be the Pixel 9 series. Additionally, it's anticipated that the tool will be available for older Pixel models, such as the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, congruent with the activation of external display mode on those devices. Furthermore, it's likely that other manufacturers might also adopt the tool in the future.

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