Galaxy Note 4 multitasking

Samsung overhauls its multitasking features in new Note 4

IFA 2014

As we said in our hands-on feature with the device, Samsung isn't reinventing the wheel (or the S Pen) with the newly announced Galaxy Note 4 — instead it's refining the great many features that are already there. One area that's received special attention this time around is multitasking — before split into three different (and largely disconnected) methods, Samsung's multitasking setup now lets you jump freely between minimized, maximized and windowed modes, with hooks into the redesigned recents menu to boot.

Read on to find out how you'll juggle your apps on the Galaxy Note 4.

The Note 4 lets you hop between split-screen, windowed, full-screen and minimized modes.

The first thing Android fans will notice about the Galaxy Note 4's multitasking setup is its close resemblance to the new 3D recents menu in the upcoming Android L. Each recent application is represented by a card, and you an swipe to the left or right to dismiss an app, or tap to switch back to it. There main difference between Samsung's setup and what's coming in the next version of Android is the icon in the top-right corner of some apps' cards. If an app supports multiwindow — the feature which lets you run more than one app on-screen at a time — you can tap the icon to open it in a split-screen view.

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When you're in multiwindow mode, you can use the menu in the screen divider to swap the position of apps, maximize or minimize, or close out completely. From a full-screen view, certain apps will allow you to swipe down from the top-right corner to collapse the current app into a window, which can then be moved around and controlled through a its own menu box — expand up to full-screen mode, collapse your app into a tiny draggable icon or close and dismiss the app.

All of this depends on individual applications being compatible, so you'll still be stuck with a less full-featured multitasking setup in some apps. What Samsung's new task-switching system should do, however, is make it easier for Note 4 owners to discover all of that phone's different multitasking methods.