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As Android phone screens grow ever bigger, it’s now possible to split your screen in two. So you can keep football results ticking away in one area, say, but catch up on news in the other. Here’s how to split-screen apps on Android – and I’ll also reveal the most important apps that support split-screen mode.
How to split-screen apps on Android
Open an app – let’s say Google Chrome. Now press on the recent apps button in the navigation area. It’s usually a square shape that sits to the right of the circular home button.
At this point your screen will magically split in two, like so. (Note that Samsung phones have a different, more cumbersome way of splitting the screen, which we’ll cover in a later article.)
Note that you don’t need to live with the screen split evenly in two. You can manually select the size using the slider that sits between the screens, although you can’t make either of them too small.
Once you’ve switched to split-screen mode, you may decide to switch to landscape mode. This works automatically and actually makes more sense in many circumstances, such as my example below of browsing the Guardian app and BBC Sport app simultaneously.
How do you exit split-screen mode?
The simplest way is to grab the divide and push it all the way to the top of the screen, or to the bottom.
The one thing that doesn’t work, which you might expect, is to double-tap on one of the open apps. Instead, this simply acts as if you tapped twice on a normal open app.
Which apps support split-screen mode?
You can find out which of your apps supports split-screen mode simply by following the first step above (splitting Google Chrome) and then observing which apps appear in the screen below.
That’s because, once in you’re in split-screen mode, your phone will only display apps that support it. And it will show you them all, like a traditional app drawer (as shown above).
You can also find out if an app supports split-screen mode by opening it and then keeping your finger on the recent apps button. If the app supports split-screen mode, the screen will split into two. If it doesn’t, you’ll see a message to explain that split-screen mode isn’t supported.
Come on, just name some apps that support it!
- All the Google apps I’ve come across
- Likewise BBC apps
- WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter
- Accuweather, The Guardian and Spotify
- Many banking apps, including HSBC