With the upcoming version 13, Google is making its mobile operating system suitable for use on desktops and laptops. In the second developer preview that has now appeared, there are corresponding signs in the form of PC-oriented control elements.
New buttons have taken the place of the 3-button navigation system
The new buttons appear exactly where other devices with larger screens typically place Android’s 3-button navigation. Additionally, Rahman noted that all apps in Android 13 DP2 on PCs now always open in freeform mode, meaning they can be freely switched. The user can thus move the windows back and forth directly and effortlessly on the “desktop”.
Multi-window operation is always enabled, so you can work with multiple programs in windowed mode on the desktop, just like in Windows. However, it is currently still unclear if Google will be able to officially use windowed mode freely with Android 13 in the final version. It’s already introduced with Android 7.0, but it’s still hidden behind a developer option.
It is also currently unclear what strategic purpose the tweaks to Android 13, which have so far been very manageable, have for use on PC. Until now, there have been some cases where Android is already used as the operating system for PCs, but actually Google is still fully committed to Chrome OS as its preferred operating system for laptops and desktops.