Android 14 just tipped for big multitasking upgrade — the iPhone can’t do this

Google Pixel Fold
(Image credit: Future)

Android 14 beta 2 is now here, and with it come a bunch of new features that could make it to all Android phones as part of the stable release later this year. One such feature that’s just been spotted by journalist Mishaal Rahman involves the ability to save app pairs to make split-screen multitasking a little easier.

According to Rahman’s tweet a new launcher flag has been added to Android which offers a new “save app pair” option for use in split-screen mode. Unfortunately the feature doesn’t actually work right now, which means we can speculate on how Google might implement it. 

Thankfully the likes of Samsung and Microsoft already offer this feature on Android devices. That means we can guess what sort of thing Google might have planned. In both cases creating an app pair means you’re creating a shortcut that opens both apps in split-screen mode at the same  time — saving you the time and effort required to open them both manually.

Presumably, Google would be offering something similar as part of Android 14. Not only would this benefit its own large-screen devices, like the Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet, it also means other Android phone makers would be able to take advantage of such a feature without having to develop it themselves. 

It’s worth noting that Google already overhauled split-screen mode with the release of Android 12. As Rahman notes, the OS creates its own internal app pair whenever you have two apps open side-by-side, which allows users to open a split-screen window from the recents menu. 

The only real change here would be the ability to save those pairs yourself, and presumably launch them from a home-screen shortcut — rather than starting from scratch each time.

Here’s hoping that things play out differently this year. Google is launching its own big screen devices, prompting it to optimize both Android and a number of key apps. So there’s absolutely no reason why it couldn’t also offer better split-screen multitasking. More so when you remember that this isn’t even a particularly new concept.

We’ll just have to wait and see how this plays out over the next few months. We don’t know when Android 14 will launch to the public, but Google’s release calendar does say there are at least three more betas due to be released between now and the end of July. 

Android 13 launched last August, so a repeat of that isn’t off the cards, but we won’t know for sure until Google actually tells us. In the meantime be sure to check out our Android 14 hub for all the latest news and features.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.