If you think that the flappy droid Easter egg in Android 6.0 Marshmallow is the only hidden gem, think again! Google has a hidden multi-window mode in Android Marshmallow, which seems like the foundation of the feature introduced in Android Nougat.
Unless you are a Samsung or LG patron that come with this feature for years now, multi-window is surely something you’ll appreciate. Although the feature seems a bit rudimentary in Marshmallow, it seems to work just fine. However, you need root access to make the directory changes for unlocking the hidden multi-window mode in Android Marshmallow.
Step 1: Download a root-enabled file manager
To activate the hidden beta version of the multi-window feature, you need to edit the root directory of your device. There are plenty of Android file managers that you can find on the Google Play Store.
For the purpose of this tutorial, we have used Root Explorer, which is a premium app available on the Google Play Store. You can also download ES File Explorer from the Play Store, which is available for free.
Step 2: Modify the “build.prop” file in the system directory
Once you have downloaded your preferred root-enabled file manager, open it and grant it SuperUser permission. Go ahead and navigate to the root partition of your device, which is the highest folder in the folder tree. From the root directory, access the “System” folder and make sure that the directory is mounted as read/write (Mount R/W).
Scroll down to the bottom of the folder to find a file named “build.prop” and long-press it. On the “Options” menu that appears, press “Open with” and then select “Text Editor” from the pop-up window.
Once you have the “build.prop” file open in the text editor, scroll to the bottom and press Enter. In order to activate the hidden multi-window in Android Marshmallow, you have to insert this line of code into the file:
Once you have entered the code line mentioned above, press the menu button and save the changes you have made. Restart your Android device once you have saved the file and exited the file manager app.
Step 3: Use the hidden Multi-Window mode in Android Marshmallow
Once your device reboots, open the recent apps menu and you will notice a new icon next to the “X” on each of the apps. Tap on the new icon in the app title bar and select the multi-window layout you want to use the app in.
The first option makes the app occupy the upper half of the screen, while the second option makes the app take up the lower half. Whereas, the third option allows you to bump up the app back to full-screen mode on your device.
Here is an example of how the multi-window feature enables you to use the Settings app and Root Explorer simultaneously: