In the past few weeks, we’ve seen more and more work being done on Chrome OS’ handling of side-by-side apps when in tablet mode. We’ve tracked this from early development of the feature to initial implementation to Stable Channel deployment. In the midst of all that work, we’ve seen signs that Android apps will soon be supported as well and this is something we feel needs to happen in light of the impending tablet and detachable Chromebooks on the way.
We’ve already covered the upcoming ability for Android apps to run in parallel, so this is one of the final functions needed for Android apps to feel native on Chromebooks when in tablet mode.
A Big Milestone
Today, we are excited to show you a working demonstration of Android apps working in split-screen on the Samsung Chromebook Pro in tablet mode.
Though we are in Canary, it is encouraging to already see this feature in the flesh. (For those not familiar, there are 3 main channels in Chrome OS: Stable, Beta, and Developer, each getting more experimental and buggy as you go along. Canary takes this to an even more bleeding-edge than Developer and is not recommended for most users.)
It took a few months for split-screen functions to make it to Stable, but it shouldn’t take as long to get Android apps working nicely with the feature. I’d assume we won’t see this make it into an official build until at least Chrome OS 65. Version 66 feels a bit more likely, however.
Over the next few months, it is highly likely that we’ll continue seeing more and more tablet-focused features being added and corrected as we near the commercial release of multiple detachable Chromebooks for the first time in the platform’s history.
Take a look at the video below to see this new feature in action.