How to enable split-screen multitasking on a OnePlus phoneSource: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central

What you need to know

  • Google is reportedly working on a more useful version of its Split Screen feature for Android 12.
  • The revamped feature will apparently be called "App Pairs."
  • Unlike the current Split Screen feature, App Pairs will allow you to group two apps together.

Android 11's split screen feature lets you open two apps at the same time on your device. Sadly, however, the feature's implementation leaves a lot to be desired, and it isn't optimized for new form factors such as foldables. If a new report from 9to5Google is to be believed, Google is working on a revamped version of the feature for Android 12, called "App Pairs."

The current split screen feature on Android 11 only pins the first app to the top of the screen, while allowing you to use another app on the bottom side. Google's upcoming "App Pairs" feature, however, will make it possible to group two apps together. This means you will be able to choose two of your most recently used apps as a pair. Once you pair two apps, you'll be able to swap between a different single app and the pair that you created.

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Since Android's built-in split screen feature hasn't quite kept pace, a few Android OEMs have created their own split screen alternatives. Microsoft's Surface Duo offers "app groups," letting users open two apps at the same time with one-tap shortcuts. Similarly, Samsung's "App Pair" allows users to pair two apps together in Multi Window mode and open them at once from the home screen.

Android 12 App Pairs MockupSource: 9to5Google

As you can see in the mockup of the feature above, the recents view in Android 12 will treat the paired apps as one. The feature will also offer a divider to let you choose just how much screen space you want each app to use. You'll even be able to swap the positions of the two paired apps by double-tapping the divider.

The first Android 12 Developer Preview is expected to be released sometime next month, so we could learn a lot more about App Pairs in the coming weeks.

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