LG's Android 10-based UX 9.0 has a desktop mode of its own, based on recent reports. Citing Twitter-user Juan Carlos Bagnell, sources indicate that the feature works very similarly to Samsung's DeX. The primary difference is that Samsung made a big deal of and even sells accessories to improve the experience of DeX. LG seems to have left its desktop mode out of the changelogs entirely.
In fact, there doesn't seem to be an official branding for the desktop mode. Instead, the mode simply appears when users plug their LG device running the latest OS into an external display. That's accomplished by attaching a USB-C to HDMI cable, resulting in an on-device prompt. The resulting notification suggests users switch to "screen sharing mode," which only requires a tap on the notification itself.
What does LG's desktop mode do?
As indicated above, the new "screen sharing mode" effectively works just like Samsung DeX. That means that it mirrors the device to a second screen but this doesn't work like typical screen sharing. Instead, LG has created a dedicated desktop environment for users to take advantage of.
After tapping the notification to switch over to desktop mode, LG presents users with a full-screen desktop on the attached display. That features a series of apps on the home screen, similar to a Windows setup. It also features an app drawer and notification bar layout that isn't entirely dissimilar to the one that Chrome OS users would be familiar with.
At the bottom left-hand side of the page, users will find an app drawer. That's filled with all of their apps, which can be opened just as they would on a typical computer. Namely, they're rescaled to fit the larger screen and can be viewed in individual windows rather than being used full-screen. That opens a new dimension of productivity, especially since LG's desktop mode works with PC peripherals too.
On the bottom right-hand side of the display, notifications received by the device will be shown. Again, that appears to be similar to how users might access notifications and such on a Chromebook.
Why no details about this mode in the changelogs?
The source appears to indicate that the new feature should work on all current flagship models from LG that have received the Android 10-based UX 9.0 update. That includes the latest LG devices such as the LG G8 ThinQ and the LG V50 ThinQ. But it also includes devices as long-lived as the LG G7.
Given the range of devices to have received the new firmware, and that it's been a fairly big deal for Samsung, it's not immediately clear why LG hasn't been more vocal about its screen sharing feature. More interestingly, it's surprising the company hasn't attempted to release accessories to cash in on the feature.
The silence could be indicative of bugs that are still present in the feature. It could also come down to something as simple as LG not wanting to look like it's copying Samsung.