I think we all long for a real, proper tablet interface for Android and not just a blown-up phone UI, like on the Pixel C. We reported on Taskbar, an app that adds a Windows-like taskbar to your device and enables freeform windows mode, a few weeks ago. Developer Braden Farmer has updated Taskbar to version 1.2, adding in a new way to launch the app as the default homescreen, plus a few other improvements.


  • Introducing the easiest way yet to use freeform windows on Android Nougat!
  • By setting Taskbar as your default launcher, your apps will always launch in freeform mode from the home screen, for a true desktop-like experience on your big-screen Android device!
  • Simply make sure that the "Replace home screen" option is enabled in addition to "Freeform window support".
    This update also includes:
  • Hide apps from the start menu
  • More positioning options
  • Miscellaneous improvements

The biggest new feature in version 1.2 is obviously the new way to 'launch' the, um, launcher. Previously, this would require a whole list of things to be done before you could use Taskbar... now all that's needed is for 'Replace home screen' to be enabled and the app to be set as the default launcher in Settings > Apps > Permissions. It's that easy.

The other improvements are smaller, but no less useful: the ability to hide apps from the start menu, and positioning improvements. Then there's the customarily vague 'miscellaneous improvements,' a staple of changelogs since time immemorial.

The app is available for free on Google Play, so go get it, especially if you have a tablet. Obviously the smaller the screen the less benefits Taskbar has, but don't let that stop you from trying it out.