Native Multi-Window Support Appears In Android M Developer Preview

Android / Mobile

Google announced and released their newest version of the Android operating system during yesterday’s Google I/O keynote. For the technically inclined, the Android M Developer Preview can be installed on Nexus 5, 6, and 9 devices.

A reddit user, DoesntPostAThing, posted a screenshot and steps on how to enable a hidden developmental feature in Android M – multi-window support. Other Android OEMs, notably Samsung, have added multi-window support to some of their devices, but this is the first time we’ve seen this feature appear natively in Android. While the multi-window function works, DoesntPostAThing indicated that it is extremely buggy.


Multi-window enabled on Android M Developer Preview on a Nexus 9 (image courtesy reddit).

If you wish to try it out, you can follow the steps below – just remember, you’re doing this at your own risk!

  1. Install and boot into TWRP recovery
  2. Go into “Mount” and make sure “System” is mounted.
  3. Connect your device to a computer with ADB. Make sure ADB is working using this command:adb devices
  4. We need to make some changes to build.prop. The following commands will allow us to edit this:adb shell
    cd /system
    vi build.prop
  5. To enable multi-window, we will need to change the line
  6. Exit the editor, and exit the shell, and hit reboot. You will get a warning about failing verification and how your device might not work properly, but as far as i know it’s okay to just ignore that warning. At least, my Nexus 9 that I tried this on is still working just fine so far.
  7. Go into developer options, and scroll down until you see “Multi-window mode”. Enable that.
  8. Go to recents, and hit the new icon that now shows up. Play around, and apps should now be able to run in split-screen. Beware, though, it’s extremely buggy and not very usable at all.
  9. To disable multi-window, just go into Developer Options and untoggle that setting. No need to edit build.prop again.

What do you think about native multi-window support appearing in the Android M Developer Preview? Long time coming, or useless feature? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.

  Source: reddit
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