Android apps normally run in full screen mode and you can only use one app at a time. However, some phones are able to run apps in a sort of window mode, a bit like the way computers work. Here’s how.
I’ll be using a Samsung Galaxy S6 running Android 6 Marshmallow for this. If you are running a different version of Android on a different phone, the results might be different. However, it is worth exploring the settings to see if your phone has these features.
Pull down from the top of the screen and press the gear icon in the top right corner to go to Settings. Scroll down the list of categories and press Advanced features. In Advanced features is Pop-up view gesture. If it is not turned on, press it and turn it on.
Return to the home screen and run an app. Not all apps will run in a window, so try a few different ones. One that does is Google Maps. Run it. Swipe from the top left corner of the screen down towards the bottom right corner. It is a bit difficult to get exactly right, but if you do, the app will shrink down to a small window on the screen.
The app in the window works as normal and you can scroll around the map by dragging a finder, zoom out and in with pinch and spread, and so on.
The rest of the screen works exactly as normal too. For example, you can start and use another app. Here is Calendar running in the background. The app in the window obscures part of the screen, so press the circle button at the top and drag it to move it and see what is underneath.
Tap the circle button to display a toolbar. You can shrink the window, grow it to full screen, or close the app. If you choose to shrink it, it turns into a floating circle.
This can be dragged around the screen to move it and it can be tapped to return to the windowed app.
Multi-tasking on a mobile phone or tablet is probably one of the most desired features. It is difficult to do on a small screen because the amount of space that is available is so limited. If you need to switch back and forth between two apps or if you need to run two side by side, this feature of the Samsung phone is worth trying.
It is far from perfect, but given the limitations of Android and the screen size, it’s not bad. It could be useful on occasions.
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Created: 03 April 2016