Android 15 Readying Revamped Desktop Mode With Improved Window Management: Report

Google is gearing up to launch its next major release of the Android mobile operating system, Android 15, this year. Codenamed as Vanilla Ice Cream, Android 15 is set to bring significant improvements to device security, app optimisations for cameras, GPUs, displays, and AI, and a host of new user-focussed features. A new report claims that the next major Android release will also feature a revamped desktop mode experience.

The Android OS already includes a desktop mode — first introduced in Android 10 — but the experience has left much to be desired, especially on the user side. The Android desktop mode lacks a few basic features that would allow users to seamlessly manage multiple windows. According to a report from Android Authority, Android 15 is set to bring in major improvements to the desktop mode, bringing a user experience akin to Windows or MacOS on computers.

The report, based on the desktop mode experience extracted from Android 14 QPR3 Beta 2.1 update, details new features of the enhanced mode coming to Android 15. According to the findings, window management in the new desktop mode will be a much more fluid experience, with users getting the ability to resize and move around app windows freely.

In a video of the desktop mode experience shared in the report, one can see full screen app windows with an options bar at top, which when tapped or clicked reveals a compact menu that allows users to access the window in full-screen, split-screen or freeform modes. In freeform mode, the app window can be freely moved around, resized and snapped to the edges of the screen. The app window also includes maximise and close buttons and a dropdown icon for accessing window mode options.

These, however, are not enough to replace the traditional desktop experience. While multiple windows can be managed seamlessly, there is no taskbar yet. Many other essential desktop features are still missing, as well. There’s no official world from Google on when its enhanced desktop mode will launch, but one can expect the mode to release with Android 15 later this year.

Last week, a report claimed that Android 15 could come with redesigned status bar icons and haptic feedback for the quick settings menu buttons. Status bar icons on Android have remained largely unchanged for a decade.

Another report last month had said that the Android 15 update would bring a new HQ button on the webcam mode for Pixel phones, allowing users to turn on a high-quality mode for webcam video. The webcam mode introduced on Pixel phones lets you use your Android phone as a webcam.

Google I/O 2023 saw the search giant repeatedly tell us that it cares about AI, alongside the launch of its first foldable phone and Pixel-branded tablet. This year, the company is going to supercharge its apps, services, and Android operating system with AI technology. We discuss this and more on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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