How to Open 2 Apps on the Moto Z

The Motorola Moto Z is an amazing smartphone. A lot can be said for the company’s decision to embrace modular connectivity in a way that makes sense. You don’t turn off your Moto Z and take it apart to add new functionality. You simply lock a Moto Mod into place on the phone’s rear. Moto Mods aren’t the only thing that make the Moto Z amazing. Something like Moto Mods is only possible because of Google’s Android operating system and the things that it allows companies to do. For example, you probably didn’t know that you can open 2 apps at the same time with the Moto Z.

It’s called multitasking, and it’s possible because the Moto Z runs Android 7.0.  The software update added the ability to open 2 apps at the same time, plus other features that Google hopes will keep users glued to their Android smartphone. DayDream, for example, turns select Android smartphones into virtual reality headsets when docked with the DayDream Viewer accessory that the company recently began selling. Google calls the new features multitasking collectively. It’s because of this feature that you can send a text message and continue watching a television show at the same time, for example.

Here’s how to open 2 apps on the Moto Z and the Moto Z Droid, the device’s variant that’s exclusive to Verizon.

Read: Common Moto Z Droid & Moto Z Problems and Fixes

How to Open 2 Apps On the Moto Z: Before We Begin

Before we begin, it’s important to note a few things about multitasking in Android Nougat on the Moto Z.

The first important thing is that you need to make sure that you actually have it installed. Carriers hold some sway in when devices on their network receive updates like Android Nougat. The Moto Z Droid on Verizon has offered users the opportunity to download the update since late last year. Those that purchased the unlocked Moto Z directly from Motorola only recently began receiving Nougat. Your phone may not have it installed yet.

Go to the Settings app on your phone and scroll down to the end of all your settings. If you see Android 7.0 listed under About Phone, you’ve got the software you need. If you don’t, tap About Phone and have your device check to see if there are any software updates available.

The second thing that you should keep in mind is that all of your apps won’t have the ability to multitask. Developers have to have add support for the feature into their apps. Without the code necessary to get the feature working, you won’t be able to multitask with that app. Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell what apps support multitasking until you attempt to use them. Built-in apps made by Google support the feature just fine.

Many of Android’s most popular applications have been updated to support multitasking, but some high-profile stalwarts remain. It’s also worth noting that some apps might never support the feature because they are no longer being updated, or their developer doesn’t believe it’s essential.

Note that this feature works whether you’re using the Google Now launcher installed on your Moto Z or a third-party launcher available for download from the Google Play Store.

How to Open 2 Apps on the Moto Z: Let’s Get Started

Power on your Moto Z and open one of the apps that you’d like to multitask with. For the purposes of this demonstration, we’re using Serist, a television show tracker that’s available in the Google Play Store. Open your first app.

Once inside the app, hold your finger down on the square on the right of the Home button along the bottom edge of your display.

Now you have two options. You can either select the other app that you’d like to open from the list of recently opened apps, or press the Home button to go the launcher and select an app that you haven’t opened yet. We’re doing the latter.

When your phone already has an app in multitasking, the status bar at the top of its display will glow the dominant color of that app. For example, ours is glowing red because that’s the dominant color of Serist. We’re going with Amazon’s Prime Video app for the second app.

If the app can be used in multitasking, this is what you’ll get. If it can’t be, you’ll get a notice telling you that you can’t multitask with that app or that it might not work properly.

That’s all there is to it really. Google managed to make it very easy to get started. By default, multitasking depends on the orientation of your device. You can leave your device in portrait mode. This direction makes it easy to see and type at the same time. For example, it’s best for watching a video on the top and texting or browsing on the bottom.

Landscape mode is great for working on both sides of your screen.

Good luck opening 2 apps on the Moto Z.