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Android Q will let you run two apps simultaneously in multi-tasking window

Google is preparing big new features for Android Q as OEMs push Android Pie to newer models.

  • Published: November 12, 2018 10:26 AM IST
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Google is reportedly exploring an option to release Android Q early in the form of beta as its explores ways to bring new consumer-facing features to the platform. Now, we have started hearing some of the new features that could debut with the next version of Google’s mobile operating system.

One of the key new feature with the release of Android Q will be the revamped multi-tasking feature. Android already supports multi-window feature in different forms but with the release of Android Nougat in 2016, Google offered a definition for how multi-tasking should work on its mobile operating system. Google defines three different multi-window implementation: split-screen, freeform and picture-in-picture, available with the release of Android Oreo.

While you can open two apps side by side with the newest versions of Android, you cannot run them simultaneously. Now, when you open two apps in split-screen mode, only one app is retained as active app at a time while the other app is paused. Users can change state of these apps by manually interacting with them and there is no way to keep both the apps active at the same time.

With the release of Android Q, Google plans to fix this very limitation. At the recent Android Developers Summit, Google announced system-wide support for foldable smartphones and has now introduced a new feature called “multi-resume” as a mandatory setting in Android Q. There is emphasis on the word “mandatory” as most developers and OEM partners did not implement multi-tasking feature as recommended by Google.

What is Multi-Resume in Android Q?

With multi-resume feature, Google will make it possible for multiple apps to be open and actually be running simultaneously. The search giant is requiring app developers to implement multi-resume, where all apps will stay resumed/active in the multi-window. The only way to get active apps in multi-window mode right now is through the “MultiStar” module in Good Lock on Samsung’s Galaxy devices.

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According to XDA Developers, both the OEM and the app will have to opt-in in order to test this new multi-resume feature on an existing Android Pie device. To enable multi-resume, the OEM will have to roll out an update including support for multiple apps running simultaneously on the same window.

Google also plans to make multi-resume support into a mandatory behavior with the next release of Android. Android Q is already teased to include new features where the apps will update in the background even when you are using them. It needs to be seen whether Google pushes out an early beta for the next version of Android.

  • Published Date: November 12, 2018 10:26 AM IST