Since the first version of Android launched in 2008 the mobile operating system of Google has had real multitasking , running several applications at once, a feature that was boosted from 2016 with the arrival of Android 7.0 Nougat, and a year later with Android 8.0 Oreo.
The last two Android updates made the operating system more productive with the split screen and PiP mode , offering new ways to squeeze multitasking with the following tricks:
As of Android 7.0 Nougat we can use two applications at once, for this we have two options to activate it. The first is to touch the Recent button and drag up the application that we want to see on the split screen. Then in the lower part we have to open the other application that we also want to see on the screen.
Quick cut-out of the split screen
The other way to activate the split screen is to perform a long press on the Recent button with the application that we want to see above already open.
Adjust size of split screen
The split screen allows us to move the central separator to adjust the size of the applications. By default they will be divided in half, but we can change the size so that one application occupies approximately two thirds of screen and the other one third.
Quick change between applications
If you are using two applications very frequently and you are not interested in using the split screen you can give a couple of quick taps on the Recent button to switch between the two most recent applications.
Force the split screen into non-compatible applications
Not all applications are compatible with the split screen, but we can force this mode by activating an option within the development options:
On Android Nougat:
- Activate Development options: Settings> Phone / tablet status and press seven times on Compilation number
- Access ** Settings> Development options ** and activate the option Force the size adjustment of the activities you will find at the end.
- Restart the device
On Android Oreo:
- Activate Development Options: Settings> System> Phone / tablet information and press seven times on Compilation number
- Go to Settings> System> Options for developers and activate the option Force the size adjustment of the activities you will find at the end.
- Restart the device
How to open two Chrome windows
With the split screen you can use Chrome to navigate in two windows. To do this, open Chrome and activate the split screen. Then click on Menu> Move to another window.
Drag and drop files between two applications
- Trick to squeeze the split screen of Android: drag and drop files between applications
The split screen allows you to drag and drop files between applications, for example to attach files to Gmail from file browsing or moving files between folders.
Open two file browser folders
The native Android file browser allows us to show two folders on the split screen, so we can drag and drop files. To do this, open the browser and select the New window option in the menu.
As of Android 8.0 Oreo, many of the multimedia and video call applications include the new Picture in Picture (PiP) mode that allows us to see the image in a floating window while we continue using another application. This mode is found in applications such as Netflix, VLC, Google Duo, Chrome, Google Maps, WhatsApp or the paid version of YouTube. To activate this mode we just have to touch the Start menu or change the application, automatically the multimedia content or video call will appear in a floating window.
- 9 applications compatible with the Image in Picture (PiP) mode of Android 8 Oreo
See what applications have PiP
To know which installed applications are compatible with the PiP mode we just have to go to Settings> Applications and notifications> Special application access> Image in image .
Use three applications at a time
Combining the PiP and the split screen we can use three applications at the same time. The idea is to first open an application in PiP and then two applications in split screen.
- How to use three applications at the same time in Android 8.0 Oreo
Bonus track: Multitasking on Android P
As of Android 9.0 P the multitasking will go to the gestural navigation . Its novelties are that you have to swipe up the Start icon to see open applications. If we slide the Start button to the sides, we will jump between applications.
- Android P Beta, first impressions: the best version of Android is a gesture away