- Google is reportedly working on tweaking its split-screen feature for Android.
- Dubbed App Pairs, the system could potentially allow users to launch two apps simultaneously.
- It would be a big productivity boost for users of large display or foldable Android phones.
Smartphone displays are growing ever larger but the software to utilize all this space hasnâ€™t quite kept up. On Android 11, you can use two apps simultaneously, but the implementation remains clunky. Now, this feature could get a welcome refresh in Android.
According to a report by 9to5Google, the next version of the OS could see the debut of â€œApp Pairsâ€�. The feature would allow users to group two apps together.
While details remain scant on the featureâ€™s exact benefits, the implication here is that you could pick two complementary apps to exist as a single task in Android. While itâ€™s not outright suggested, itâ€™s also possible that users could launch the two apps simultaneously negating the need to launch them sequentially then splitting the screen. This would let users skip a step in the clunky workflow, and would be particularly helpful on larger display devices like tablets and foldables.
9to5Google created a mockup of how the feature may be implemented, highlighting the suggested use of a single task card for two apps on Androidâ€™s Recents screen. Users may then be able to swap between it and other apps in the Recents menu.
App Pairs is a feature that a number of manufacturers have implemented in their own UI designs. Samsung calls its split-screen feature App Pair but requires the use of the Edge panel. Microsoft lets users pair apps on the Surface Duoâ€˜s launcher allowing the dual-screen device to open two apps on the two screens. Both are more intuitive than Androidâ€™s current system using the Recents app screen.
Itâ€™s unclear when App Pairs could make its bow, but itâ€™s likely Google would want to get it melded to Android 12. As big displays become the norm, itâ€™s important that Android keeps pace with this trend.