Initiating a split-screen in Android 9.0 is not as easy as pie

The latest build of Android, 9.0 Pie, uses AI in an attempt to improve the experience of those rocking Android devices running the new version of the OS. But if there is one thing that has Android owners steamed, it's the new roundabout way to initiate the split-screen on Android 9.0. The old method simply required that the user long-press on the square on the bottom right of the phone. Once that was accomplished, the second app to view could be selected.

On Android 9.0, with gesture controls enabled, you swipe up from the "pill" to the top of the screen. Tap the icon of the app you want on top of the split-screen. That will call up a menu from which you select "Split Screen." Lastly, you select the app you'd like at the bottom of the split-screen. This certainly is not as easy as pie. And changing to the three-button setup instead of using gestures won't change a thing. You still will have to swipe up from the box on the bottom right of the display.

So the bottom line is that it now takes four steps to activate the split-screen on Android 9.0, as opposed to the current two steps on earlier Android builds with the feature. As one Redditor pointed out, there is another issue. Initiating split-screen in Android 9.0 now means temporarily pausing any content being streamed while activating the feature. Previously, you could let streaming content run while setting up a split-screen.

It all just goes to show you that progress is often two steps forward, one step back.

source: Reddit via MobileSyrup



1. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 762; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

Well that's an unfortunate step backward. Hopefully it's remedied with a future update.

13. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

You can always bring back the older navigation buttons with a quick tap in the settings. Remember this is Android, and there is always lots of options.

18. jellmoo

Posts: 2660; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Doesn't change things though. You still have to hit the recent button, then tap the icon, then select split screen. It's really quite stupid.

20. NateDiaz

Posts: 1092; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

Well fanboys gotta defend everything you know.

23. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Apple fanboys defend apple all the time. Anyone is going to defend what they like, from phones to cars to TV's

2. f_u_006

Posts: 122; Member since: Mar 19, 2014

"So the bottom line is that it now takes four steps to activate the split-screen on Android 9.0, as opposed to the current two steps on earlier Android builds with the feature." Seriously? You wrote an entire article about it?

9. nepalisherpa

Posts: 338; Member since: Jul 17, 2015

The more articles, the more traffic, the more ad revenue. If you understand this concept then you shouldn't be complaining. You have a choice to skip articles.

21. RoyalMike unregistered

It's a serious issue trust me,, android is getting more stupid day by day.. Just copying apple won't solve a thing

4. Alan01

Posts: 642; Member since: Mar 21, 2012

This is how much of an Apple fanboy I am. I just bought a Pixel 2 XL to replace my previous Android phone, which replaced my previous Android phone which replaced my previous Android phone. Nice try, though. Regards, Alan

6. fyah_king unregistered

Pixel 2 xl is a killer of a phone

11. Cicero

Posts: 1148; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

Your statement here is camouflage. Please re-read your articles and people's comments about how "in love with Apple and Android hater" you are. When a lot of people said that you have to think about it and see what is wrong there, you have to question mark it . So, good luck with your introspection. And bring to the table your Bulgarian coworkers. They have issues, too.

12. Cicero

Posts: 1148; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

So! Any results?

14. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

You do realize we're aware that you can own more than one phone & prefer one over the, right?

5. cmdacos

Posts: 4321; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Looks painful. Thankfully Samsung gets it right.

7. Alcyone

Posts: 568; Member since: May 10, 2018

Funny that a certain someone said "Android phone". Its makes it seem less biased, but it's a cover. B as she Samsung all day as a manufacturer, and tout Android as their OS of choice. Ironic.

8. Pigaro

Posts: 88; Member since: May 15, 2016

Still better than I machines

10. jasaero

Posts: 46; Member since: Oct 20, 2014

More like 1 step forward, 3 steps back when you goto gestures in general. Just tapping icons is way more efficient and easy in general than these stupid things copying Palm and Apple that were only really neat back when it was Palm and we were all new to touchscreens in gestures just annoy me and are obviously probably harder to learn if for the those unfamiliar with the regime.

15. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

This is why my Note 8 still being on Android 8 does not bother me. By the time my Note 9 gets Android 9, hopefully there'll be a fix for it .

16. ahmadkun

Posts: 661; Member since: May 02, 2016

At least i still canndo multitasking right ?

17. lmao2016

Posts: 87; Member since: Mar 17, 2016

It was not that difficult to me.

19. jellmoo

Posts: 2660; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

It's not difficult, it's just superfluous taps. The old method was quick. This is convoluted change that doesn't improve your workflow.

22. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Wow, this really is a step backwards. Also, I don't like how Google is going all in with the rounded corners, but don't use rounded corners in the recent overview. All those apps screens look awfully square compared to the rest of the OS. While only a small detail, this is something that Apple does better on the iPhone X

24. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Android 9 will fail like windows 8 desktop. Then Google fixes with Android 10.

29. Nimbus

Posts: 442; Member since: Apr 02, 2018

Haha that android 9.0 made sense I like the new features came with it but these extra step backwards will ruin it for me.+1 Hope android 10.0/10.1 aka Q or 9.1 improve on these things.

32. Dakard

Posts: 4; Member since: Aug 13, 2018

One thing ain't gonna make it fail, especially if they can do a simple fix. It's obviously something that annoys those of us who use it regularly.

25. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Hoping Google gives this feature a do over in 9.1. It's not very well done I agree.

28. hansip87

Posts: 229; Member since: Nov 10, 2015

Google should have put app icon at the bottom edge of app preview frame, and enable dragging on the app icon to initiate dragging to form split window (bottom part of screen assigned first, rather than top part of the screen like in Nougat/Oreo). That will at least reduce one step.

31. Dakard

Posts: 4; Member since: Aug 13, 2018

And as many people don't use it, you should be able to enable/disable the option of that button (for those who don't want to).

30. Dakard

Posts: 4; Member since: Aug 13, 2018

I've got the new Pie and I googled "what's happened to split screen" as it's not obvious at all and is now a pain in the ass. I used to use it every day while listening to shows on YouTube and reading Twitter. Now it's just awkward. I really hope an update makes this much simpler. As for the rest of Pie, I'm still getting to grips but some things are great. My Nokia always used to make a sound when I plugged in a charger, now my 2XL does too. Volume control, the magnifying glass etc all good so far.

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