Thursday , August 24 2017

Google is working on multi-window functionality for Android

Android Multi-Window Tablet
Android on tablets is as a whole a hit and miss affair. On smaller screen tablets, like the Nexus 7, Android manages to skate along the line of using phone apps on tablets and they look quite good and function well. Where Android tends to fall down is when Android apps scale up to tablets in the 10″ range, where most developers have not added support for the elements required for larger screen devices. Samsung has worked around this by adding multi-window functionality to their tablets of late, which adds much needed functionality, now it appears Google is looking into adding this into stock Android.

With a larger screen Nexus tablet on the way, Google is apparently looking into adding multi-window functionality into Android, and Android Police have managed to get an early look at the setups and functionality.

Multi-Window functions on Android will apparently be similar in practice to how it currently functions on Samsung devices. With two target areas operating on left/right hand sides of the tablet display – or upper and lower areas on a phone or portrait device. Android Police have mocked up some ideas on how this will work, but essentially users will be able to ‘snap’ apps to the target areas as they see fit.

Apparently, the functionality of Android, including ‘Ok Google’ hotword detection would still be usable and windows would be resizable. Information from searches could be moved between these windows and further interacted with. Windows would also be able to be scaled and focused, with apps scaling as required, which would enable apps to be used in ‘phone’ layout on a tablet, neatly skirting the need to have tablet apps.

It doesn’t sound as though the functionality is yet ready to launch, but sounds like something Google is working on as a way to get round some of the issues they’ve had with tablet adoption due to apps not scaling well or offering a tablet layout. There’s more renders and descriptions of the functionality over on Android Police, so head over and check it out.

 
Source: Android Police.

Daniel Tyson   Editor

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

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8 Comments on "Google is working on multi-window functionality for Android"

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chris
Valued Guest
chris

part of why for me the Surface RT was so good, had variable split screen from the start and so much more. If they could take windows RT and include the range of apps available to Android it would be unbeatable.
I am not a huge fan of Android on tablets for the reasons you mention in the article but at least it is getting there. Android on a phone rocks, tablet hmm is ok.

HemanthSomaraju
Valued Guest

In Samsung it already ther….

Andrew
Valued Guest

I’ve been wanting this for so long, even on the Nexus 7. I always want to have some YouTube app on while I’m also catching up on news, or in the case of Ausdroid, having IRC open below the live stream.

I’ve tried the xposed module, XMultiWindow, but it’s really buggy.

vijay alapati
Valued Guest
vijay alapati

i guess apple will be introducing this with the new ipad this year, So android is last in the row (though Samsung done this with limited apps)

Member
Luke Vesty

This would be an enormous win for Android tablets and something stock Android could desperately do with. Split screen multitasking is actually one of the few features I’d like to see taken from Touchwiz and natively included in Android L.

JeniSkunk
Valued Guest
JeniSkunk

This, baked into the OS, would make large screen tablets easy to multitask on.

Member

Hmmm… I sort of would prefer classic overlapping windows, instead of split screen.

Andrew Palozzo
Valued Guest

Can’t wait to see a demo of this. Samsungs variant felt slow and awkard to use.
Also I wasn’t planning to get a nexus 9… but I dunno.. if this was pulled of really well, i could be tempted.

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