Android’s newest release, Pie, is chock full of helpful new features and tweaks. However, not everything with Google’s newest OS update is great. Some actions take longer than they used to, for example.
Users over on Reddit have taken up arms against the new multitasking view for this very reason. Activating split-screen takes twice as long now, compared to past versions of Android.
In Oreo, for example, it was a simple as pressing and holding on the square button to activate split-screen. Then users selected the second app they wanted to display.
However Pie users must swipe up from the pill. Then they must tap the app icon above the app card in the multitasking view. Finally, the user selects split-screen from the menu and then chooses their second app.
While at first this doesn’t seem like a big deal, if you use split-screen often you’ll quickly find it annoying.
Worse, users discovered that switching back to the three-button layout didn’t fix the problem. The steps to enable split-screen are the same even if you use the three-button layout.
Ultimately, it’s a bit of a design regression from Google. Considering the company’s focus on gesture navigation, I’m surprised they haven’t come up with a gesture for activating split-screen.
One Redditor suggested Google copy Samsung’s approach and allow users to press and hold on the card and drag it to split-screen. However, that would likely interfere with the ability to copy and paste from any app card.
Hopefully Google can come up with a better solution for split-screen that’s more intuitive than the current offering in Pie.