One of the best features on the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 I bought in 2012 is surprisingly still fairly scarce on other devices. The 5.5-inch phone gained the ability to run two apps on the screen at one time thanks to a software update. Samsung has since used this function on many of its larger phones and tablets; I can see why since it’s so useful.
Few other companies have followed suit here, which is a bit baffling, particularly since phones are getting larger displays which are perfectly suited for this type multitasking. Some companies are slowly coming around though.
Acer’s latest Iconia Tab 8, for example, has a split-screen mode according to Liliputing. This lets you choose from a selection of apps that can run in a half-window, similar to how Samsung’s implementation works. LG also has a split-screen mode on its G3 flagship Android phone. [company]Microsoft[/company] Windows tablets let you “snap” several apps on-screen simultaneously. And code in iOS 8 has hinted at Apple adding the same function: I could easy see it on [company]Apple[/company] iPads and maybe even on the iPhone 6 Plus.
As a result, this trend is picking up a little steam. Enough to become a game-changer in 2015? I think so, for a few reasons.
The increased display size of phones — and the more mainstream acceptance of them — is a big reason why. We’re also looking to do more on our mobile devices and if we can do that in a manner that’s more efficient or faster, then people will be apt to embrace it. Computers have long had the ability to multitask with several apps on a single screen. This coming year may be the one where more of our phones and tablets can do the same, adding to the transition from traditional computing to the devices in our hand.
I’d be curious to hear thoughts from readers who have used these split screen options. If your device supports them, are you using them, and why?