Android M Could Bring Multi-Window Support
With large-screened devices being the norm, one might have thought that multi-window support would be an integral part of the mobile world right now, but as far as iOS and Android is concerned, this is not the case. With recent rumors suggesting that Apple is planning a side-by-side multitasking feature, perhaps just for the iPad initially, it looks like Google could be plotting something similar for the just-unveiled Android M that may also be limited to tablets.
Google's I/O developers conference has really taken over as far as this week's tech headlines are concerned, and amid a multitude of announcements at the initial keynote on Thursday, the company also took the wraps off Android M. The still-unnamed software update touts a number of features, some more promising than others, but one tucked-away feature that Google didn't mention is multi-window multitasking.
The multi-window implementation could be something that the search company intends to roll out later this year, although at the moment, it's hidden within the Android M Developer Preview. If you've downloaded and installed the preview, or you intend to, then you can get your first taste of multi-window on Android by meddling with a few ADB commands. It's quite buggy, so if Google does intend to release it to the masses, it will require a lot of refinement, but for those curious, it's definitely worth checking out.
It goes without saying, though, that if you do want to try this feature, we'd only recommend doing so if you know what you're doing. The dev preview itself is smooth enough to use -- although not on your daily driver -- but multi-window is described as "extremely experimental" by the Redditor who's thrown the guide together.
Samsung's TouchWiz already allows users to work on more than app from within the same interface, but there's no doubt that it'd be nice to see Google add this kind of feature natively. At desktop level, multi-window has remained among the core principles for decades, but in the mobile era, we seem fairly content with one window at a time.
As mentioned above, Apple may also be planning to introduce multi-window. It is thought that the feature, which may or may not make it out with the upcoming iOS 9 update, will consist of two windows running apps side-by-side, and will only be available on the company's iPad tablet.
Still, for those looking to be productive, these are exciting times, and if you'd like to test out Android M's hidden multi-window support, please check out the source link.
Be warned, though, that it's nowhere near finished, is only for tablets, and will not be as smooth as those features that Google has decided to showcase.