If you do a lot of multitasking, you probably have two (or more) applications running at the same time on your phone. Instead of jumping back and forth between the two while you work, you may find it faster and more convenient to display both apps at the same time. The feature to see both apps at once on Android is called split screen.
Split screen can come in handy when you are:
- Watching a YouTube video while trying to take notes. YouTube won’t close on you since you never have to minimize the app.
- Watching Netflix while checking your email.
- Copying and pasting an address from a website to Google Maps.
How to Use Split-Screen Mode
It’s an effective way of using your Android phone efficiently, but many people aren’t aware of its existence. Android has had native support for split-screen mode since 2016, but if you somehow haven’t discovered how to set up this feature yet, here’s how you can give it a try.
1. Open the first app. I’m using Google Keep.
2. Go back to Home by pressing the center button at the bottom of the screen.
3. Return to the apps drawer and open the other app you want to use. I’m opening Google Chrome.
4. Tap the Recent apps button. This button is at one of the bottom corners of the screen and looks like three vertical lines.
5. Tap and hold the icon at the top of one of the apps until this menu appears.
6. Select “Open in split-screen view.”
7. The selected app will be at the top of the screen while your other app(s) remain at the bottom.
8. Tap the app you want to add to the other part of the screen. This will launch the split screen with a new secondary screen. You are now in split-screen mode.
While in the split-screen mode, you can tap and hold the black line between the two apps and slide it up and down to change the size of the windows.
How to Exit Split-Screen Mode
If you want to change to another app for the bottom, tap the Recent apps button (which now has changed to two rectangles, indicating your display is now in split-screen mode). Then select a different app to replace the one currently showing.
To disable the split-screen, drag the black dividing line to the top or the bottom of the screen. If you pull it up, the bottom app will remain open. If you pull it down, the top app will stay visible.
You can also tap and hold the split-screen app-switching icon. This method automatically closes the secondary app at the bottom of your display.
Most Android apps are compatible with split-screen mode, but be aware that not every app will work. Apps like Netflix, your camera, and certain games like Candy Crush need to be viewed in full-screen mode.
With this split-screen feature, you can work in two different apps at the same time with just a few taps. It may be just what you need to be productive while you are working on your phone on the go.