Android N

Android N Could Be Like A Desktop With Freeform Windows

March 14, 2016 - Written By Justin Diaz

Just last week Google officially unveiled the Android N Developer Preview, and along with it the factory images were made available for users and developers alike to download and flash to their devices. While the first phase of the developer preview for the brand-new Android N revealed many new things to look forward to, among them has been a feature coveted by many stock Android users for some time, the highly anticipated multi-window mode. With this on hand, users will finally be able to open up two apps at once on screen and split them apart to interact with both apps without having to exit out of the other first.

Of course, multi-window is set to be one of the most popular features for the new version of Android, but Google also mentioned a new and still inaccessible feature that is sitting within the framework of the dev preview called freeform mode. Google covers this during their announcement of the multi-window feature in the Android N documents, stating that it is currently experimental and that developers would have to enable it for their applications. It’s also likely going to be a tablet-only feature as it will open up the ability to use multiple apps at once beyond the initial two apps one can open with split-screen multi-window. In addition to this, the app windows will be floating atop the interface and will be scalable so users could resize them to fit their liking, much like you can do with Jide’s Remix OS 2.0 software.

With a freeform mode in place, Google would essentially be making stock Android capable of delivering a more desktop-like experience, which could come in handy for anyone who might need an environment to work off of that is similar to a PC but also wants to have native access to Android apps on the system. For now, there is no way to get the feature up and running and there is no indication that Google will actually enable this in a future dev preview much less a future final version of the Android OS that will be sent out to the public. With references to the feature sitting within the framework as well as the system UI and the SetupWizard, it’s still quite likely that Google will simply turn this on for developers and tinkerers to mess with in a later release of Android N. This would also put some competition in the space for Jide who already offers this feature as part of the Remix OS experience, which can not only be had through the Remix OS 2.0 for PC install, but also with the Remix Ultra tablet and the Remix Mini Android PC.