You’ll often find yourself in a position where you’ll need to do two things at once on your smartphone, and it helps to have two apps visible at the same time. Perhaps you need to copy a phone number from an email to call or copy an extract from a webpage to WhatsApp, or even watch Netflix while browsing eBay. Thankfully, native support to allow split screen mode for apps has been available since Android 7.0.
Samsung users have had this for even longer as part of the TouchWiz, but Google has since baked split screen mode into Android. The method to bring up two apps at the same time is relatively simple to trigger but not necessarily obvious. Let’s take a look below at how to enable split screen on Android and take your productivity to the next level.
Despite Google standardizing split screen in Android Nougat, the method of activating it could differ if the manufacturer has changed the navigation buttons or multitasking overlay. Below are the two ways in which Google natively supports split screen as well as how to use it on a Samsung device.
The most common way is to trigger split screen using the multitasking or ‘Recents’ button in the navigation bar.
- When in an app you want to use in split screen, touch and hold the Recents button. Notice it splits in two, indicating you’re in split screen mode. Half of the screen will feature the app you are currently using, while the other will show a list of recently used apps. The apps are scrollable just like the normal multitasking pane. If the app you want to use isn’t displayed in the multitasking window, touch the home button, and you’ll be taken to the home screen. You’ll notice the status bar turns red, which shows you’re selecting an app to run in split screen mode.
- You can drag the horizontal line that splits the apps to resize each pane.
- To exit split screen mode touch and hold the Recents button. You’ll then return to normal and see the top app (or the one on the left if you’re in landscape mode) fill the screen.
- You’ll need to press the Recents button, and you’ll then see the split screen icon shown next to the cross. Hit this, and you’ll see an animation pushing the app to the top half of the screen with a list of other open apps or to choose from.
- To use one of the other apps in the list that supports split screen, tap it and you’ll see it fly to the available space in the other half of the screen.
- Samsung offers some more functions within the split screen mode with a popup that displays on the horizontal line where the apps split. There are icons to switch the top and bottom app, activate picture in picture, close the split screen mode, and also a smart selection that will pin whatever you select to the top of the screen.
- You can also drag the horizontal line that splits the apps to resize each pane.
The use of split screen apps in Android can be extremely useful for boosting your productivity. While it is a simple implementation once initiated, as mentioned, it’s not exactly obvious how to activate it. Hopefully, this guide points you in the right direction to get the most out of your device.
Leave us a comment below if you use split screen mode on Android.
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