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.
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.
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
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).
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
- stock Webbrowser (*)
- Google maps
- Polaris Office 5
- 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)
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).
Open the XMultiWindow app from your app drawer to get started. Tap Sidebar Settings in the app, tap Sidebar App Settings, and use the Add button to add the apps you want to multitask with here. The apps you add to this list will appear in the sidebar so you can open them in split-screen mode.
Tap the Open Sidebar option in the XMultiWindow app to launch the sidebar, and then swipe in from the left side of your screen. The sidebar will appear at the left side of your screen above other running apps — it functions like a floating app.
To open an app in split-screen mode, long-press the app’s shortcut icon in the sidebar and tap Add to up Workspace or Add to down Workspace. If your screen is oriented horizontally, you’ll see the Add to left Workspace and Add to right Workspace options instead.
When you’ve opened the apps you want to use, swipe down from the top of the screen to open the notification shade and tap the Sidebar Running notification. This closes the sidebar, freeing up your screen space. You can always swipe in from the left again if you want to view the sidebar and open another app.
You’ll then be able to use both apps alongside each other. Here we’re watching a video while browsing the web — the kind of powerful multitasking that’s still impossible on most tablets and mobile operating systems today!