Google has been working on on enhanced split-screen mode for its upcoming foldable

Google has been working on on enhanced split-screen mode for its upcoming foldable
Google Pixel Fold | Image credit — PhoneArena

Google is making multitasking easier on the Pixel 9 Pro Fold with a new split-screen mode that lets users put apps side-by-side, even in portrait mode. This change, likely in anticipation of the Pixel 9 Pro Fold's launch, is significant because most Android smartphones only allow for top-bottom splits in portrait mode due to their smaller, rectangular screens.

The Pixel 9 Pro Fold, however, is rumored to have a nearly square aspect ratio, making left-right splits in portrait mode more practical. This functionality was first introduced in Android 14 QPR2 and has been further refined in subsequent updates. Code references in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) specifically mention the "Pixel Fold 2," strongly suggesting that this feature is designed for the upcoming Pixel 9 Pro Fold.

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In addition to the display's aspect ratio, the resolution also plays a role in enabling this feature. The Pixel 9 Pro Fold's display is expected to have a resolution of 2,076 x 2,152 in portrait mode, which necessitates the left-right split option for optimal multitasking.

Left-right split in portrait mode, expected to launch with Pixel 9 Pro Fold | Image credit — Android Authority

While this left-right split in portrait mode is a noteworthy addition, it's not the only improvement Google has made to multitasking on Android. Android 15 introduced the ability to save split-screen app pairs to the home screen, and ongoing work on Android's desktop mode promises to enhance freeform app windowing, especially beneficial for larger-screen devices like foldables and tablets.

It's worth noting that split-screen multitasking isn't entirely new to Android. It was first introduced in Android 7.0 Nougat back in 2016. However, the implementation on the Pixel 9 Pro Fold, with its unique aspect ratio and resolution, represents a significant step forward in making multitasking more intuitive and efficient on mobile devices.

As the Pixel 9 Pro Fold's launch date of August 13th approaches, it remains to be seen if Google has any other surprises in store for multitasking enthusiasts. While the focus of these updates has been on the Pixel 9 Pro Fold, the benefits extend to other foldable devices as well. As the foldable market continues to grow, features like left-right split-screen multitasking in portrait mode will become increasingly important for maximizing the potential of these devices.

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