Multitasking on tablets with Android 14 just got a whole lot better

Split-screen apps on Pixel Tablet
(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google has upgraded its Pixel Tablet's multitasking functionality when using "Alt+tab" on a physical keyboard.
  • The function now produces a row of currently open apps at the top of the tablet's UI for easy switching.
  • The timing of Google's latest improvement could be related to rumors suggesting a Pixel Tablet relaunch is on the horizon.

It seems that Google has implemented a better way for users to multitask on the Pixel Tablet when using a physical keyboard.

The discovery of an improved "Alt+tab" function on the tablet was picked up by Mishaal Rahman over at Android Authority. Rahman adds that Google has overhauled Alt+tab with a new UI in Android 14 QPR2. When the shortcut is used, a new horizontal row of apps is produced at the top of the tablet's display.

Functionality operates similar to how it does on a Windows PC. Holding "Alt" and tapping "Tab" will produce the row and highlight a recently opened app. Continuously pressing "Tab" will cycle users through the available windows (apps).

Rahman states that the currently selected app is highlighted with a gray border. Additionally, users reaching the end of their available apps using Alt+tab will find a "show more apps" option. It's said to show how many apps extra apps users could have for an area of quick discovery.

Testing shows that the Pixel Tablet's improved Alt+tab bar can only hold six apps at a time.

It's worth noting that Android 13's way of utilizing Alt+tab was not so intuitive or functional. Instead of a convenient row of the most recently used/open apps at the top, the shortcut would produce the "recent screen."

The timing of Google's improved multitasking support for the Pixel Tablet in Android 14 comes at a point when rumors suggest a product relaunch. It's been speculated that Google is gearing up to relaunch the Pixel Tablet without the charging speaker dock a few days before its I/O event. More importantly, this supposed relaunch could finally deliver those long-awaited Pixel Tablet accessories we've been waiting on.

There's a chance that consumers could find a Google-made stylus and keyboard for the device. However, rumors say the accessories will not be bundled, potentially costing folks €100 (roughly $107) each.

In other news, Google rolled out Android 14 QPR3 Beta 2.1 in April. The patch was designed to address a host of tester problems, such as hiccups, crashes, and charging problems.

Google's I/O 2024 event is slated for May 14. Though, rumors suggest its original Tablet relaunch could take occur before it on May 10.

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.