Mar 10th, 2015

Galaxy S5 Multi-window

Google I/O is just around the corner and we have a good feeling Google will talk about/detail new changes headed to their mobile OS. Changes much bigger than what 5.1 — rolling out now to Nexus devices — introduced.

With that release now in the books (which mostly dealt with big fixes, dual SIM and HD Voice support) you may be wondering to yourself what could be ahead for future versions of Android. Well, a gem discovered in an AOSP framework code commit is shedding some light on a big new feature coming soon to Android: multi-window apps.

commit ed7698c8ed66b959d723caa7bfe01530d306fb8d
Author: Craig Mautner cmautner@google.com
Date: Tue Jan 27 11:44:59 2015 -0800

Defer tap outside stack until multiwindows

Taps outside of the stack boundary were causing the current app to
lose focus. This led to timeouts waiting for the app to respond.

Disabling the tap recognition keeps the focus from changing. It will
be reenabled for multiwindows.

As you can see above, there aren’t very many details, just a quick reference. While having multiple apps displayed onscreen at once isn’t a feature that everyone will use, it could be great for Android power users who need more multitasking than what stock Android provides. Really, the idea isn’t anything new. Samsung’s custom TouchWiz UI has allowed for multi-window apps for a while now, but exactly how Google plans on implementing this feature remains to be seen.

What say ye? Would you use multi-window apps if baked into Android in the near future?

[AOSP]