Google's foldable phone gets new multitasking support


Split-screen multitasking is about to get even more interesting with Google's new updates.

Google is making multitasking easier with a new split-screen mode that lets users place apps side by side, even in portrait mode. The change, likely in preparation for the launch of the Pixel 9 Pro Fold, is significant because most Android phones only allow for a split screen on the top and bottom in portrait mode due to their rectangular screen designs.

According to Phonearena, the Pixel 9 Pro Fold is rumored to have a near-square aspect ratio, making it more practical to split the screen left-right in portrait mode. This feature was first introduced in Android 14 code QPR2 and has been further refined in subsequent updates. Reference code in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) specifically mentions "Pixel Fold 2", suggesting that this feature could be designed for the upcoming Pixel 9 Pro Fold.

Google's foldable phone gets new multitasking support - 1

In addition to the aspect ratio of the display, the resolution also plays a role in enabling this feature. The Pixel 9 Pro Fold's display is expected to have a resolution of 2,076 x 2,152 in portrait mode, which would require the option to split the screen to the left and right sides to optimize multitasking capabilities.

While this left-right split-screen feature in portrait mode is a notable addition, it's not the only improvement Google has made to multitasking on Android. Android 15 introduced the ability to save frequently used split-screen app pairs to the home screen, and the feature is already available in Android's desktop mode, promising to improve free-form app windows, which will be especially beneficial for larger-screen devices like tablets and foldable phones.

Split-screen multitasking isn't entirely new to Android. It was first introduced in Android 7.0 Nougat in 2016. But the Pixel 9 Pro Fold's implementation, with its unique aspect ratio and resolution, represents a significant step forward in making multitasking more intuitive and efficient on mobile devices.

Google's foldable phone gets new multitasking support - 2

As the Pixel 9 Pro Fold launch date approaches, it remains to be seen whether Google has any other surprises in store for multitasking enthusiasts. While the focus of these updates is on the Pixel 9 Pro Fold, the benefits will extend to other foldable devices as well.

As the foldable phone market continues to grow, features like split-screen multitasking in portrait mode will become increasingly important to maximize the potential of these devices.

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