How to Do a Multi-Window on a Samsung Galaxy Note Tablet
By Dan Stone
Samsung's Galaxy Note tablet line includes a special multi-window mode that enables you to run two apps on the screen at the same time. The Galaxy line's split-screen, multi-tasking feature is exclusive to the Samsung brand as of November 2013 and integrated into the TouchWiz user interface. Samsung touts the split-screen mode as a selling feature for its Android tablets and phones.
Galaxy Supported Models
All Samsung Galaxy tablets that feature "Note" in the name support the split-screen feature: This includes the Galaxy Note 8.0 and Galaxy Note 10.1 models. However, split-screen mode isn't limited just to the Galaxy Note tablet line. Some of Samsung's older tablets and phones support the feature. If the Galaxy tablet supports Android 4.1.2 or later, it can use the split-screen mode. Additionally, any models including and following the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Samsung Galaxy Note II phones support split-screen apps.
Only Supported Apps
Multi-window mode on a Galaxy Note will work only with apps that have been specifically configured to work with the feature. The supported-apps-only aspect limits the usefulness of the multi-window feature; however, many of the built-in Android apps support multi-window mode. Third-party app support varies between apps. Some of the apps that work with multi-window split screen include Gallery, Email, Internet, Messaging, Video Player, Maps, Gmail, YouTube and Hangouts.
Enabling Multi-Window Mode
Multi-window mode is controlled by a master option in the device settings. To enable multi-window mode, go to the home screen and press the menu key. Tap "Settings" and select "Display, and then tap the box next to the "Multi window" option to check it and enable the feature. A small tab will appear on the left side of the screen when multi-window mode is enabled and not in use. Multi-window mode can be toggled on the fly when enabled in the device settings by pressing and holding the "Back" button for about two seconds.
Using Multi-Window Mode
Multi-window mode is controlled through dragging and dropping supported app icons on to the screen. If you use the feature on the home screen or in the device settings menus it will open the app in full-screen mode. To use the feature, open one of the supported apps like normal. When in the supported app, tap the tab on the left side of the screen; press and hold on the second app you want to open from the tab listing and drag the app icon into which half of the screen you want to display the app on. In portrait mode, the screen will split horizontally; in landscape mode, the screen splits vertically. You can control how much of the screen goes to each app by tapping on the screen divider and dragging it in either direction. Tapping on the divider brings up two other buttons that swap app positions and return the app to full-screen mode respectively.
- Samsung: Guide to the Galaxy
- Samsung: Tips & Tricks: Galaxy Note
- Phones Review: Galaxy Note 3 and Note 10.1 Multitasking Made Clear
- Slash Gear: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 get Split-screen Multitasking Hands-on
- Digital Trends: Galaxy Note 8.0: Helpful Tips and Tricks
- Galaxy Note II Firmware Update Brings Split-screen Multitasking
- Android Central: Android 4.1.2 Update for Galaxy Note could add Nature UX, Multi-window Feature
- Samsung Support: How Do I use Multi Window (Multi Tasking) Mode on Samsung Galaxy S4
Dan Stone started writing professionally in 2006, specializing in education, technology and music. He is a web developer for a communications company and previously worked in television. Stone received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Master of Arts in communication studies from Northern Illinois University.