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I have a Nexus 10. I want to split screen to do two things at the same time. Is that possible in Android? 3rd-party apps are acceptable too.

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I don't think it can be done yet. The only thing that is close to it is small apps that run as overlay on the currently running apps. –  forums Mar 3 '13 at 1:02
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3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

As of this writing, only a few Android devices offer multi-window functionality out-of-the-box. Samsung built this feature into 4.1.2 OS version for several of their Android tablets (Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Note 2, for example.)

There are some major drawbacks to this. First, it's a proprietary Samsung feature that only comes with their TouchWiz overlay, and therefore is not compatible with "vanilla" Android OS. Second, apps must be specifically written to support this feature.

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While I don't believe that there are currently any window managers available for Android devices (except where some manufacturers, like Samsung may build this in) there are some other options that may work for you, depending what you're after, by optionally floating some other apps or features over or alongside your current app.

  • There are some third party Android web browsers that can "float" a window over your current window, and can be dismissed or brought to the front very easily: OverSkreen (formerly known as AirBrowser), or Floating Browser Flux

  • There are some small utilities like Calculators or Terminals that can also be floated over your current window.

  • Quickdesk is an app that can put a floating toolbar over other apps, giving you quick access to other apps.

  • If you're finding the keyboard is getting in the way, and you'd rather it floated over other apps, then you may find some of this question's answers helpful: How can I “split” the virtual keyboard when typing on a large display in landscape mode?

  • Although it needs custom written widgets/apps, you may also find that the Chameleon Launcher can do what you want as it specialises in arranging tiled windows of information/apps alongside each other (website).

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Tested on a Samsung Note 10.1 (SM-P605) with Android 4.3 i found some apps which are supporting multi window, e.g:

  • My Files (*)
  • stock Video Player
  • MX Player
  • stock email app
  • Gmail
  • stock Webbrowser (*)
  • Chrome
  • Gallery
  • Contacts
  • Phone
  • Google maps
  • Polaris Office 5
  • WhatsApp
  • Facebook
  • Watch now
  • Chat on (*)
  • Google Play Store

But there are really very few apps capable to run with multiple instances (from the above list only those which are marked with (*)). So, you can for example open My Files twice (left & right of upper & lower half screen)

Screenshot My Files side by side

Unfortunally, Polaris Office 5 (pdf viewer) isn't capable to run twice. So if you want to view 2 pdf docs side by side, it seems that you have to install a 2nd pdf viewer app (see here).

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