The beta versions of Android Q gave us the possibility to see an experimental desktop mode on Android phones. Enabled through a setting in Developer Options, this desktop mode featured a new Android interface that resembled a more conventional desktop operating system, with the ability to launch applications in multiple windows freely.
Google has even provided more information for app developers to tailor their apps to work seamlessly with a secondary display.
Interestingly, Google has still given a lot of hype to said desktop mode, since the experimental configuration is quite basic in its approach, it needs many corrections and it still needs work to make it more useful. Nevertheless, Flow Desktop steps forward in this direction as a launcher, adding more utility to the hidden desktop mode.
Flow Desktop relies on Android 10 desktop mode to give you a better experience on a secondary screen with a connected keyboard and mouse. At first, we have to remember that Android desktop mode is still considered experimental, and Flow Desktop is also in a preview state with expected and logical errors in a version in its state. The app provides a very short trial period for you to see how it works and then prompts you for a premium purchase to support further development. You have to enable developer options on your device, enable Windows Freeform (floating windows) and experimental desktop mode for the launcher to work.
There is a brief device setup for the first time, so you’ll also need a PC. The developer has shown the usage experience in the following video:
Flow Desktop comes with several options, including support for changing the resolution on the secondary display as well as the density on it. The launcher enables a more traditional desktop and Windows-like experience on the secondary screen, complete with a start menu to display all applications, the ability to add applications to the lower taskbar, and more. Due to the limitations inherent in desktop mode, right-clicks are activated as long touch taps, so the context menu is displayed accordingly.
Again, bugs can be found, even on officially supported devices. Flow Desktop is officially compatible with OnePlus 7T Pro, and officially considers the Essential Phone PH1 (not compatible with display configuration settings) and Samsung phones (with DeX pre-installed as they need additional settings) as not supported for now.