Some of you will have heard that Android 6.0 Marshmallow has a hidden multi-window mode, like the Galaxy Note series has. This feature didn’t quite make it into the final cut of Marshmallow, but everything you need to make it work is just lying there in the background. You can actually enable multi-window mode on Android 6.0 in three simple steps. Read on to find out how.
- A rooted phone running Android 6.0 Marshmallow
- A root file manager with text editor (like ES File Explorer) or Build Prop Editor
How to enable multi-window mode on Android 6.0 Marshmallow
1. Open Build Prop Editor and scroll down to. Tap it and change the Property Value from user to userdebug.
2. Tap Save and then Yes to reboot your phone (this is necessary to apply the changes).
3. Once you’ve rebooted, go to Settings > Developer options > Multi-window mode and flip the switch. (If you don’t already have Developer options enabled, go to Settings > About phone and tap Build number seven times until you see the notification.)
Using multi-window mode on Android 6.0 Marshmallow
In your multi-tasking view (or recent apps list), you’ll now see a square bracket in the upper right of each app card. Tap the target to choose the split-screen view you want: upper half, lower half or full screen. Note that top and bottom switch to left and right in landscape mode.
Once you’ve chosen your split-screen preference, the app will always appear in that view. So, for example, if you’ve chosen YouTube in top-half view then tapping YouTube in the multi-tasking list will always bring it up in the top half. If you want to go full screen you’ll have to select that by tapping the square bracket in the top right of the app card again.
Multi-window mode on Marshmallow works surprisingly well for a feature that was left out. It’s a bit clunky and occasionally you get weird overlaps, like as shown the upper left of the image above, but generally speaking, it works fine.
Unfortunately, you can’t re-size the split-screen windows, but that’s what you get from an unfinished developer feature. It’s not perfect, but it is there and it is working – and that’s half the battle.
Are you excited for stock multi-window mode? What do you think of multi-tasking on stock Android? Tell us what you think in the comments?
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