It wasn’t too long ago that we reported a new feature that appeared in the Dev Channel of Chrome OS: split-screen operation in tablet mode. The feature is pretty necessary for all the upcoming detachables and tablets that we are tracking. Being forced to run everything in full-screen when not attached to a keyboard isn’t optimal, to say the least. Being able to drag open windows to either side and adjust the size feels natural and is somewhat expected with the way Windows and iOS both handle the same scenario.
You can check out this short video to see it in action.
The issue we currently have is this new feature doesn’t work at all with Android apps. It doesn’t even try.
It seems, however, a fix for that is not just suggested, but in the works. According to this commit – dug up by our friends over at Chrome Story – development of split screen Android apps is currently underway. This couldn’t come at a better time as we’ve seen the first Chrome OS tablet in the wild at BETT this week.
Seeing Android apps getting this treatment along with the removal of paused-state apps (Android apps pause state when not in focus, but that is also going away for Chrome OS) will give Chrome OS a very native, very intuitive user experience when being used in tablet mode. Again, we know many detachables and tablets are on their way this year, so these changes need to get implemented, tested, and fully ironed out before those devices come to market.
You can see the removal of paused-state apps here:
We’ve claimed the Chrome OS/Android merger would be the eventual end of Android tablets before. It looks like the time is nigh.