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.