Android 15 could bring back a buzzword that was once the talk of the tech industry

The latest Android version might bring to life a promise Google made before the Pixel 8 release that could converge mobile and desktop devices together.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
Google Pixel 8 in Pink
Kerry Wan/ZDNET

Last year, Google teased us with a feature that could have totally disrupted the desktop/laptop space and greatly benefitted consumers. I had high hopes this would happen, but when the Pixel 8 devices were released, it became all too clear that convergence wasn't meant to be.

Also: Google Pixel phones get a Lookup feature that tries to ID unknown callers

But now, Google's at it again. According to Android Authority, Android will likely have a more robust desktop mode when version 15 arrives later this year. Do note, Android has had a desktop mode since version 10. To date, that mode is bare bones and lacks the basic features to make it a useful desktop OS.

With the new implementation, Google may be preparing to fix many of the long-standing issues with its multi-window experience, which could mean, once connected to an external display, Android could switch to a more traditional multi-tasking OS.

Convergence. I've reported about this topic so many times over the years that it's become one of those topics that makes me roll my eyes and think, "I've heard that before." But what is convergence?

Simply put, it's where the mobile and desktop meet. Imagine plugging your mobile phone into a dock or external monitor and the mobile OS transforms into something that looks and behaves more like a desktop OS.

A monitor connected to a Samsung S22 Ultra

DeX mode with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

This is what Samsung DeX is and what Canonical attempted to deliver back when it was trying to create the Ubuntu Phone. I experienced Ubuntu's take on convergence and it was one of the most impressive pieces of technology I've seen to date. Unfortunately, Canonical failed to bring it to market and convergence became a thing of myth.

Also: I've tested tons of Android office suites and these 3 are good as Google's (if not better)

Then Samsung made it happen with DeX but couldn't really gain much traction with it. When DeX went away, it looked as if convergence would never happen.

With the upcoming Android version, you can already preview the demo that was uploaded by Android Authority, on YouTube, which looks pretty impressive. If Google follows through with this feature, it could be a serious game-changer for Android, allowing consumers to work with a single device for both mobile and desktop usage.

Fingers crossed that Google makes convergence a reality with Android 15.

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