Apple and Microsoft have already done it, and it appears that Google wants to join in on the fun, too. What we are talking about, of course, is the ability to generate a split screen view on a tablet’s display, in effect showing more than one mobile app on the screen for the user to interact with. Indeed, Google’s competitors already possess this capability, and the mobile giant is looking to keep up very soon.
A couple of Google staffers actually leaked the information via a Reddit discussion page just this week. The two teased that a split screen view feature is currently being developed by Google, and should be able to debut on the upcoming major upgrade to the Android mobile operating system (specifically, version 7.0) to be released by next year. Since each new version of the Android platform rolls out to the public typically in October or November, Android users may have to wait almost a full year before they can experience first hand what it is like to view two mobile apps on their tablet’s display screen all at once.
As revealed by Glen Murphy, director for Android and Chrome UX, for some time now, Google has been busy developing and perfecting a multi-window capability for tablets powered by the Android software. Andrew Bowers, director of product management for consumer hardware at Google, echoed Murphy’s words, adding that a split screen feature is definitely in the works.
With Apple, Microsoft, and now Google all bent on introducing new enhancements (such as the split screen feature) to tablets, will these mobile devices have a chance of getting out of its current sales slump? It remains to be seen for now. But a split screen functionality will definitely make tablets more appealing, especially in this age of short attention spans and multitasking tendencies. Such a feature would certainly make tablets nearer to PCs, in terms of interactive experience.
It is rather interesting though how Google is now playing catch up to Apple and Windows. Apple got into this functionality when it rolled out its iOS 9 mobile operating system back in September earlier this year. The iPhone maker’s Split View feature can be found on the iPad Pro, the iPad Mini 4, and the iPad Air 2 from 2014.
As for Windows, it has a feature called Snap Assist, which has been made available to Windows run tablets since the release of Windows 8 more than three years ago. By the time Windows 10 got into the picture, the feature has since been improved, now incorporating the ability to display up to four different mobile apps on the screen simultaneously.
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