This custom launcher will turn on Android 10’s hidden desktop mode

Android 10’s early betas promised a new desktop mode for Android. This highly experimental feature turns Android into an interface that’s more similar to a desktop computer, including with freeform windows and better multitasking.

Despite that feature being teased, though, Google hasn’t really shown much else of the new mode. You can play around with certain features in developer options in your phone, but it looks like the mode will be relegated to Android 11. Unless you’re using a custom launcher, that is.

Flow Desktop Launcher

A brand new launcher on the Play Store called Flow Desktop has been released, and it aims to create Android’s desktop mode before Google can get it finalized. The app utilizes a lot of Android 10’s native features that just aren’t finished and puts them in a package that you can quickly jump into.

You’ll have to connect your phone to a secondary display, and to really use it like a desktop you’ll need a mouse and keyboard. You’ll also have to enable a few things in developer options on your phone, like the freeform windows and experiment desktop mode. You’ll also need a computer to kick things off, which is shown off in a setup video.

The app is free to try, but the developer is asking for a payment for the premium version to continue further development. It looks promising already, though.

There are some catches here, and it won’t work on every device. The developer confirms it works with the OnePlus 7T Pro, although not in a polished state. They also confirm that it will not work on the Essential Phone, or any Samsung phones with DeX pre-installed. There’s presumably some DeX stuff that interferes with Android’s native desktop code that’s holding things up.

Play Store Download Link

Born in southern Alabama, Jared spends his working time selling phones and his spare time writing about them. The Android enthusiasm started with the original Motorola Droid, but the tech enthusiasm currently covers just about everything. He likes PC gaming, Lenovo’s Moto Z line, and a good productivity app.

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