Android 14 Beta 2 teases an overdue upgrade for multitasking

Split-screening two Android apps on the Google Pixel Fold
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Android 14 Beta 2's release teases Google's own "app pair" feature.
  • Users would be able to save two apps in a multitasking, split-screen view as a shortcut on their home screen to easily hop back into later.
  • Samsung and Microsoft both have a feature quite similar to what Google is looking to implement.

With the industry going a little crazy over foldable phones and their multitasking features, Google appears to be preparing a helpful upgrade that benefits all devices.

Mishaal Rahman on Twitter posted the discovery of a new Google "app pair" feature which may launch with the full release of Android 14. The feature was discovered during the latest Beta 2 phase and, after enabling, unearths a "save app pair" menu item for split-screen apps in your recently opened apps menu.

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Tapping the "save app pair" button doesn't do anything for now. Rahman assumes that, once it's fully functional, this option would create an app shortcut on your Android device's home screen so you can easily hop back into your multitasking, split-screen experience. This isn't something entirely new, as we currently have Samsung's One UI and the Microsoft Surface Duo to show how the company may implement its own version for all of Android.

Using Samsung as an example, the shortcut that appears on your home screen after saving an app pair would feature both app icons with the names stacked beneath. Google may follow this same sort of implementation method when its version rolls out.

Rahman then noted how Google changed the way split-screened apps work with Android 12. Back then, users could pair two apps they enjoyed using together and then swap over to a singular app at will. However, the pair would not stay together and would require you to go back and pair them again without a way of saving that couple. A save function for apps you enjoy using in split-screen would undoubtedly save you time as you can quickly hop right back into what you were doing hours ago.

Android 14 is expected to come out later this summer, and a multitasking upgrade such as this would greatly benefit the likes of the Pixel Tablet and Pixel Fold, which are both available for preorder and will see shelves later in June.

On a related note, the Android 14 Beta 2 build recently started for those enrolled in the program, and its arrival brought numerous bug fixes and new features. The substantial amount of fixing is partly due to Android 14's expected platform stability in June.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.