Pixel 8 may include support for Android 14’s improved desktop mode

After years of wanting something similar from Google, it seems the Pixel team is finally ready to deliver a phone that can be used as a semi-desktop replacement if inside information from Android Authority is to be believed. As always with this sort of thing, take everything with a grain of salt. While there are certainly updates to the desktop experience coming with Android 14, these changes alone don’t necessarily mean that Google will finally bring display output via the USB Type-C connector to the Pixel 8.

There are two tweets from Mishaal Rahman specifically about some of the upcoming Android 14 changes that add USB Type-C support for DP Alt Mode (more on that in a sec), and a number of improvements to the core of Android for things like support physical keyboard, key remapping, handling touchpad gestures, and more. You can check out both below as well rest assured that if Mishaal is pointing out this stuff, it’s definitely legit and on the way.

What is DP Alternate Mode?

While the improvements to Android 14’s desktop mode aren’t just for phones, Google has the new Pixel Tablet out, after all the inclusion of DP Alt mode at a base level is saying that Google may want to encourage further use of this long characteristic -time. Yes, DP Alt Mode has been around and on multiple phones for years, and it’s also how Chromebooks output a video signal to external monitors via USB Type-C docking accessories.

DP (DisplayPort) Alt Mode, put simply, allows video output over a USB Type-C connection. While it hasn’t been built into Android at a basic level on Pixel phones to date as Mishaal indicates, it has certainly been exploited by companies like OnePlus and Samsung over the years to mirror your phone screen to a larger display. And companies like Samsung have taken this to the next level with their proprietary DeX setup that gives users a desktop-like setup to work from when connected to an external display.

While simple phone screen mirroring would be an upgrade on its own for Pixel phones moving forward, things get even more interesting when you consider this inside information from Android Authority suggesting Google isn’t working on DP Alt Mode in Android 14 just as a secondary feature. . Instead, it could mean that they’re ready to give us some sort of viable desktop-type solution with the Pixel 8 this fall.

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3 birds with one stone?

What this I could it means we could see Google lean a little more into Android’s desktop capabilities with their Pixel hardware. Not only could we see it with the Pixel 8, but the hardware may already be there for the Pixel Tablet and Pixel Fold to take advantage of it. For devices like the Pixel Tablet, this desktop mode improvement in Android 14 might actually help things a bit when the tablet is connected to a mouse and keyboard instead of what it does now: which is basically nothing more than adding a mouse cursor. mouse to the screen.

While I don’t think desktop mode via a phone is the solution to full-blown productivity needs (Android needs a lot more work to even be in the conversation), I think this presents some interesting use cases for people in the conversation. quantity movement. Being able to connect your phone to a screen and put together a short-term desktop solution would be useful for a lot of people, I think, so this could be a very solid addition to the overall Android experience if it all works out.

But that doesn’t stop me from wanting a phone that can actually do double duty someday. With an Android/ChromeOS dual boot option, I’d still like to see a phone that could be a standard Android device until connected via USB Type-C to an external monitor. Like Samsung’s DeX mode, there may be a prompt asking if you want to switch to desktop OS and just like that, it may bounce you to ChromeOS for a better big screen experience.

Sadly, I don’t see any work on that front yet in any way, shape or form, so I’ll take what I can get and be excited to see what Google cooks up with the Android 14 desktop improvements. But I’m not expecting too much, and you probably shouldn’t. neither you. These kinds of moves aren’t generally done with the intent of completely supplanting a company’s other interests, and I don’t see Google trying to push Android into the desktop market at this point when they clearly have ChromeOS for those users. Instead, it will be a nice trick to have up your sleeve when needed, and if done right, a great feature that Google can try to do better than others via its own hardware.

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