From the first version of Android launched in 2008, Google’s mobile operating system has had real multitasking, running several applications at the same time, a feature that was enhanced 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 of squeeze multitasking with the following tricks:
Android 7 and 8
From Android 7.0 Nougat we can use two apps at the same time, for this we have two options to activate it. The first is to touch the button Recent Y drag the app up that we want to see on split screen. Then at the bottom we have to open the other application that we also want to see on the screen.
On Android 9 and higher
Android 9 Pie premiered a new two-button gestural navigation bar, removing the Recent button and displaying open applications in a new landscape view. From this version you have to tap on the app icon in the open applications view and then select the option Split screen.
Quick Split Screen Shortcut (Android 7 and 8)
In Android 7 and 8 we have another way to activate the split screen is make a long press on the Recent button with the application that we want to see above already open. As of Android 9 this trick no longer works.
Adjust split screen size
The split screen allows us move center divider to adjust the size of applications. By default they will be shown divided in half, but we can change the size so that one application occupies approximately two thirds of the screen and the other one third.
Quick switch between two applications
On Android 7 and Android 8
If you are using two applications very frequently and you are not interested in using the split screen you can give a few quick taps on the Recent button to switch between the two most recent applications.
On Android 9 or higher
As of Android 9, you have to perform both taps slowly if you are using the three-button navigation bar. If you are using the two button navigation bar you have to swipe the home button to the right quickly.
Force split screen on unsupported apps
Not all applications are compatible with split screen, but we can force this mode by activating an option within the development options:
- Activate Developer Options: Settings> Phone / tablet status and press seven times on Build number.
- Accede to Settings> Developer options and activate the option Force resizing activities that you will find in the end.
- Reboot the device.
- On Android 8 Oreo or higher:
- Activate Developer Options: Settings> System> Phone / tablet info and press seven times on Build number.
- Accede to Settings> System> Developer options and activate the option Force resizing activities that you will find in the end.
- Reboot the device.
How to open two Chrome windows
With split screen you can use Chrome to navigate in two windows. For it open Chrome and turn on split screen. Then click on Menu> Move to another window.
Drag and drop files between two applications
The split screen allows us drag and drop files between apps, for example to attach files to Gmail from the file browser or move files between folders.
Open two folders from file explorer
Android’s native file explorer 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 option New window from the menu.
From Android 8.0 Oreo many of the multimedia and video calling applications include the new mode Picture in Picture (PiP) 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, the multimedia content or video call will automatically appear in a floating window.
See which apps have PiP
To find out which installed applications are compatible with PiP mode, we just have to go to Settings> Applications and notifications> Special application access> Picture in picture.
Use three apps at the same time
Combining PiP and Split Screen we can use three applications at the same time. The idea is to open one app in PiP first and then two split-screen apps.