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Android Nougat Multi-Window View
Android Nougat Multi-Window View (Image Source : Android Official Website)

Two things happened with the launch of Android Nougat. First, you can toggle the settings by long pressing the notification. For instance, you can silence future alerts from an app in the notification itself. Second, you can switch between apps or better, run two apps side-by-side. On handheld devices, two apps can run side-by-side or one-above-the-other in a split-screen mode. On TV, apps can use picture-in-picture mode to continue video playback while users are interacting with another app.

The activities visible on the multi-window are the once that are used the most. They are the most recently interacted apps considered topmost. All other activities in the background are in the paused state, even if they are visible. To resume the activities, the user just has to click on that tab and the previous topmost activity is paused.

For example, if you are clicking a picture and you receive a text that needs to be replied, you can view both the windows simultaneously. The camera gets paused while you respond to the message.

The Working Of Multi-Window

Android Nougat Multi-Window View
Android Nougat Multi-Window View

The user can switch to the multi-window mode in the following ways:

  • If the user performs a long press on the Overview button, the device puts the current activity in multi-window mode and opens the Overview screen to let the user choose another activity to share the screen.
  • Users can also drag and drop data from one activity to another while the activities are sharing the screen.

This ‘Quick Switch’ feature enables the user to perform tasks in the multi-window view. This new attribute of Google comes handy for the OEMs like Samsung and Lenovo.

Picture-In-Picture & Much More

Picture-In-Picture Mode - Android
Picture-In-Picture Mode – Android Nougat 7.0 (Image Source : Android Developers)

Google introduced a new Picture-In-Picture mode that essentially allows an app to float around the interface in an overlayed window. It is possible to watch two videos or channels at the same time on your TV set. This apparently brings in a question on the quality, to which Google is very sensitive. The quality remains intact.

Before we jump to a conclusion, there are some glitches that can’t be overlooked upon. Most of the Google’s native apps can adapt the multi-window view, although, some third party apps (like Facebook and Twitter) might display a message ‘App may not work with split-screen’. Other Apps like Instagram or Snapchat won’t work side-by-side, until their developers add the multi-window support. Also, this picture-in-picture is limited to Android TV. However, with the help of developers, there is always a way to adapt this brilliant multitasking feature.


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