For power users, one of the biggest downfalls of tablets is the inability to easily run more than one application at a time. When you're constantly having to open and close applications, you lose time and efficiency. But what if you could have more than one app open at the same time? With the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, you can!
Samsung introduced a feature called Multi Window that allows you to run two apps side by side. This means you could be chatting with business associates while getting information from a spreadsheet, without having to go back and forth. Multi Window is definitely the best multitasking system to come along for the tablet world.
The only problem with Multi Window is that it's not incredibly intuitive. However, once you get it, it's incredibly simple. The only other caveat is that not all apps support Multi Window mode. Here's the list of apps that do support this feature:
- Web Browser
- Music Player
- Polaris Office
- My Files
- S Note
- Video Player
- World Clock
With that in mind, let's dig in and take a closer look at the Multi Window feature.
UsageBy default, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 has the Multi Window feature built-in. You can manage Multi Window from the task bar at the bottom of the screen (Figure A). Figure A
The Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.If you tap the up arrow in the center of the task bar, it will reveal the Multi Window manager (Figure B). Figure B
All Multi Window-capable applications are ready to be used.To open up applications in Multi Window mode, simply drag and drop an application to the left side of the screen and then drag and drop the second application to the right side of the screen (or you can just tap the launcher to open the apps). Once you've done that, you should have two applications running happily side by side (Figure C). Figure C
The built-in web browser and Polaris Office running side by side.The application screen does not have to be split 50/50. You can drag the vertical bar (between the apps) to the side to give one app more real estate (Figure D). Figure D
Giving the web browser more space.Another nice feature is that the windows do not have to be locked side to side. If you open the bottom task bar and tap Cascade view, the windows can then be moved around, resized, maximized, and even pinned (Figure E). Unlike the Dual view, where you can only have two apps open at once, you run as many apps as you want in Cascade view. Figure E
The browser and Polaris Office in Cascade view.
The only caveat to Cascade view is that the opened apps cannot be moved from one home screen to another. You can move the home screen behind them, but the apps themselves remain in place. Because you can move the home screen, you can also open apps like S Note, which will pop up a small window that can be moved around like the other apps.
What about non-supported apps?
There's only one way to get Multi Window mode to work with apps that aren't officially supported, and that's to download and install the Samsung Multi Window Manager. The only downfall to this app is that it requires a rooted Jelly Bean 4.1.2 device (with a Samsung ROM only).
If you're looking for the best tablet for multitasking, there is no better solution than the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and Multi Window. It's there by default and will help you to reach a more efficient, on-the-go work environment. Have you worked with Multi Window on the Galaxy Note 10.1? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.