Google Just Hinted at Split-Screen Multitasking in Android N
Android M a.k.a Marshmallow was officially unveiled at the beginning of this year at I/O developers conference and was finally available through Nexus devices at the earliest to the customers. Once rolled out for its major devices, it made sense for Google to start working on the next big thing, Android N.
In September this year, Google launched five new devices, including its own tablet, the Pixel C.
Pixel C has been built from scratch by Google, and came with an attachable keyboard to show the flexibility in using a tablet as a laptop. Marshmallow also demonstrated that Honeycomb was not the last tablet-specific operating system and Google has worked its way through all the potential issues. However, it is still not as customizable as you would want it to be, and it does not make full use of that big screen compared to a mobile phone.
The team working behind the next generation of Android OS, conducted an AMA on Reddit, which has become an extremely popular method of interacting with the masses. They did not completely reveal what we could see from Android N, so as to hold on to the excitement, but they did reveal one small detail which was enough for us to keep going.
Although expected now, Google is working on getting split-screen feature to the next OS version and we sure can hope it to be more functional than the one in iOS. With all that real estate, tablets usually do not see much support from Google and this gives them an opportunity to showcase the potential through Pixel C. Unlike iPads, tablets are mostly secondary devices for Google and do not enjoy the same popularity. However, Google is trying to change everything with Android M.
Remember Samsung had introduced this already long time back with the Note series and some other companies had followed suit. Then why did Google notice it now? Thanks to iOS 9. Yes Google and Apple have been trying to outdo each other since the very beginning and they have been playing the catching-up game for years now.
Glen Murphy, Director of Android and Chrome UX said,”We’re working hard on a range of enhancements for Android in this form factor. There are many things, like multi-window, that we’ve been spending a lot of time on – hopefully we can share more about this soon.” Does multi-window ring a bell? Yes you’ve seen it already on iOS 9 launched this year and Apple is already ahead in the game.
“We’re working on lots of things right now for N that, of course, we wish we had, you know, yesterday, but we’d spoil the surprise of N if we shared all of them. Split screen is in the works,” said Andrew Bowers, Consumer Hardware Director at Google. We believe Google needs to make sure the final product is better than iOS or it won’t make sense to launch it separately through the next gen OS.
To me, the news is not very exciting, but it does mean that Google is giving it a very good thought and we might see some interesting features in Android N.
I wish Google would just pay attention to other companies who have been using this feature from the very beginning, as an additional layer over stalk Android. Although app support is lacking, but this gives Google an excellent chance to make it work on its own will.
I really hope Google is able to give a well finished product with some interesting features like video and messaging at the same for the heavy smartphone and tablet users in this generation.