How to Use Split-Screen Multitasking on Android

This guide will go over everything you need to know about split-screen multitasking in Android Nougat. Google’s Android 7.0 update is available on multiple devices and delivers a slew of new features. Many with a Galaxy S7 or other devices are wondering what’s new and how to use them.

New phones can run two apps on the screen at the same time. This is called split-screen mode. Additionally, that same features adds some impressive multitasking capabilities to Android as a whole.

Read: Android Nougat vs Android 6.0 Marshmallow: What’s New

Whether you’re a power user or just want to be more efficient and faster while using Android, this is how. Owners can quickly toggle between their most recently used apps, run two simultaneously and more. Read on for additional details and a quick how to guide.

Android 7.0 Nougat has well over 50 changes but many of them aren’t visibly noticeable. Which is why we’d recommend taking a deep dive at our what’s new post linked to above. Once you know all about Nougat and what it has to offer, start using split-window mode and multitasking.

For those that don’t know, Android now has an extremely useful feature similar to the task switcher on Windows. By simply holding ALT and hitting TAB users can flip between recently used programs or windows instantly, without using the mouse. It’s a feature many have enjoyed since Windows 3.0 from years ago. You can do that and more on Android smartphones and tablets.

Double Tap Recent Apps Button

On most Android smartphones there is a square-shaped icon on the bottom right of the screen, or bottom left for Samsung users. This is the “recent apps” button that many use for multitasking. Hit that and you’ll see a list of all running applications or browser windows.

Have you tried double tapping this icon? Simply double-tap the recent apps (multitasking button) and you’ll immediately jump from the current app to the last one you were using. Watching a YouTube video but had to answer an email? Double tap and it will instantly go back to YouTube.

This works anywhere and no matter what. Even if you’re on the home-screen a double tap will go back to whatever app or window was previously opened. Many don’t know this exists, but I use it daily.

Use Two Apps At Once (Split Screen)

Next we’ll explain how to run two apps at the same time. This varies slightly between devices, but now that it’s a default feature in Nougat it’s easier than ever before.

On a Samsung device simply hit the recent apps button on the bottom left of the device. Instead of selecting an app to launch hit the “split square” or two rectangles-like button near the X on each app. As shown below. This will initiate split-screen mode. Now just select an app from the homescreen or tap recents again and open a second application.

As you can see we tapped recents and then the split square icon to open two apps simultaneously. Now, users can checking emails while viewing the web, or do two things at once. The options are almost unlimited too. Most apps works with this, instead of only select few like older LG or Samsung devices.

For all other phones like LG, Motorola or Google, the method is slightly different. Open an app, and now press and hold the recent apps button. This initiates split-screen mode. Now you just click another app and the phone instantly opens both apps at once. This implementation is easier than Samsung.

Other Details

On all devices these two apps can be used at the same time, the window can be resized by dragging the bar on the middle. And tapping back or swiping all the way up or down (from the middle) will close one app and leave the other running. It’s extremely useful, powerful and makes multitasking a breeze for power users. Owners can also press and hold the recent apps button again to disable split-screen mode.

This is especially convenient on bigger devices like the upcoming Galaxy S8 or the Pixel C tablet. Delivering desktop features for those on mobile. There is also a similar picture-in-picture mode for Android TV for those interested.

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