Android users have access to a split screen feature in Android 11, that has been going on since quite a few last versions of the Google operating system. However, the process has not been updated with the changing form factor of smartphones. In order to use two apps at the same time, Android users need to open one app, and then activate Split Screen for that app from the recent apps option. This hides most of the app away while the rest of the smartphone opens to the home screen, allowing users to pick a second app they want to work with simultaneously. This pins the first app to the top of the screen, while the bottom of the screen functions normally. With Android 12, Google is reported to be working on a revamped version of the feature called ‘App Pairs’.
With smartphone screens getting bigger and new form factors like foldable phones and dual-screen phones coming in, Android’s split screen feature does not cater to the changing form factors specifically. Manufacturers like Samsung, LG, and Microsoft, in order to leverage their new form factors, have made their own split-screen features like the ‘App Groups’ feature on the Microsoft Surface Duo, which is a one-tap shortcut to open two specific apps. According to a new report in 9to5Google, the Mountain View, California-based giant is working to bring a full revamp of the split screen system with Android 12. The new feature will reportedly be called “App Pairs” and will group two apps together as one single task.
This will enable Android users to pick two of their recently-opened apps to become a pair. Once paired, users will be able to easily swap to using a different single app and then come back to the ‘App Pair’ that they have created. In its report, 9to5Google has also created a mockup of the probable Android 12 feature and how it may look.
Like the split screen feature on Android currently, the Android 12 App Pairs feature will offer a divider to let users adjust how much of a screen is taken up by each app. The report further said that the divider is actually gaining a bit more functionality, allowing users to quickly swap the positions of the two apps they have paired.