- Google has made changes to the way split screen multitasking works in the latest preview of the Android P developer.
- Instead of having to drag and drop applications, users have to touch the icon and select “Split Screen.”
- This should continue the multitasking improvements we’ve already seen in Oreo.
Google has made changes to the way that multitasking works on Android P. Previously, to enter split screen mode, it would keep the application for a long time and then drag it to the top of the screen.
How to use the split screen in Android P
Beginning with the new preview of the Android P developer, enter the split screen in Android P by touching and holding the icon that appears above the application’s thumbnail and then selecting “Split Screen.” This will send the app to the top of the screen and you can choose another application to open in the lower half.
To exit the split screen, drag the border that separates the two applications to expand the application you want to keep in full screen. From the split screen mode, you can also touch the start button to close the application below and access your other applications.
Note that not all applications support split screen in Android P currently. Netflix does not show the split screen option, for example.
This is similar to the way Samsung launches split-screen multitasking in the Galaxy Note 8 and, in my experience, it’s a fairly intuitive method. You can see the new option in the screenshot below.
The split screen has long been a feature of the manufacturer’s masks and custom ROMs, but it was not until Android Nougat when Google tried to implement it on Android itself. Later, Android Oreo brought multi-tasking additions such as Picture-in-Picture. This allows users to keep applications open and to run in a separate window on their screen. Image-in-the-picture is undoubtedly more useful than the split screen since you can adjust the size and proportion of the window, as well as move it around the screen.
Considering the popularity of the larger Android devices, as well as the abundance of RAM found in even low-end devices, it’s no surprise that Google focuses on improving multitasking. While the change observed in the developer preview is not necessarily the biggest, any slight improvement that can refine the multitasking experience is welcome.