The Galaxy Z Fold4 is the first device in the world to ship with Android 12L – and it is also the first device that utilizes all of the new features available. Why is this update important? It is because prior to Android 12L, all Android devices are literally working the same way despite having a smaller or larger screen. Android tried to differentiate itself from Android 3.0 Honeycomb back in 2011 (wow I’m old) but we all know that didn’t work out.
So, fast forward to today, we have Android 12L that improves multitasking drastically on larger displays including foldables and tablets. In today’s video, I want to explore how multitasking works and how well it works because some apps do not support multitasking.
Note: I highly recommend you watch the video instead of reading this article as many nuances like gestures and swiping motions cannot be conveyed or described using text and images.
Okay, so before we begin, we gotta make sure what software we’re running. Since Android 12L is technically Android 12.1 but Google doesn’t want to call it that way, it is denoted by One UI version 4.1.1 instead.
Some settings to go through first
I want to head into the settings menu real quick, and go down all the way to Labs and we have a total of 5 different options. We’ll go through each option to know more about it.
The first one is crucial – “multi window for all apps”. This forces apps that don’t officially support multi-window – like Shopee or Lazada.
The option to “Show multi-window menu with 1 window” is the middle bar at the top middle part of the screen. Tap on that bar and it’ll show you some options to enter multitasking mode and whatnot. Honestly, I don’t like this feature – so I disabled it.
Instead, what I use is the “Swipe for split screen”. You can swipe with 2 fingers from either left or right sides or from the bottom to enter multitasking mode. Or… we can just tap and hold any apps from the taskbar and drag them into the multitasking view. We’ll talk more about the taskbar in a while.
The option “swipe for pop-up view” is actually to swipe from either the top left or right corners to make your current app become a floating window. Then, you can resize it or tap at the top of the app and “minimize” it into a bubble.
If you want a full uninterrupted view when multitasking, you can also enable the “Full screen in split screen view” option. However, I find this to be buggy since apps like Telegram will sometimes be unusable as I cannot tap into the text box to start typing. Sometimes, because I tested it once again and somehow it works.
Okay, with those settings out of the way, it is now time for the taskbar. This single feature is the most important feature that Android has ever developed. When you open an app, the entire bottom row of apps from your home screen becomes a taskbar. That means you can put whatever apps you want down in the bottom bar of the home screen and that becomes your taskbar shortcuts.
There is a separator on the right side that shows apps that you recently minimized – so you can toggle between your favorite apps and your recently used apps quickly.
Of course, you can head into the settings menu to further customize the taskbar. There are two options available.
We can hide the aforementioned recently minimized apps, thus removing the separator as well.
There is also another option to show and hide the taskbar by just tapping and holding the taskbar. Honestly, I disabled this option – it’s just annoying.
The taskbar will also change depending on your navigation style. If you use gesture navigation as I do, then the taskbar is “centered” at the bottom of the screen. If you use buttons, then the taskbar will be biased to the left or right depending on where you want those buttons to be.
You might have seen articles saying that the taskbar only works if you’re using Samsung’s One UI launcher – and that is kinda not true and true at the same time.
For example – if I use Nova launcher, then the taskbar will still be there, but it will forever be there since it treats the Nova launcher as an app. However, that also means that you cannot customize the shortcuts on your taskbar.
For those who prefer some other launchers other than Samsung’s default One UI launcher, you’re going to have a problem.
Is multitasking seamless?
Since we have enabled the “multi-window for all apps” option at the beginning of this video, we can tap and hold and then pull out whatever apps you have on the taskbar to quickly enter multitasking mode.
Granted, some apps won’t work properly – like Lazada. It will show a message saying that it won’t work in split screen view. That is because the app doesn’t reposition or scale properly and we get atrocities like this.
You can even drag a total of 3 apps in the split screen view too! Then, I can tap on the middle three-button thing and then tap on the star to “bookmark” this, and I can add that bookmark to the home screen or the taskbar so that I can tap on it and immediately jump to that split screen arrangement with those apps.
So to answer the question – is it seamless? Somewhat. It’s still not perfect but I really do hope app developers will make the necessary changes to ensure their app works well with foldables and tablets.
And those are just some of the tips on how to multitask using the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4. Do let us know what are your favorite tips and if we missed out any features – do let us know too. We might as well plug our affiliate links too. If you buy anything using these links, it’ll help us out a lot.
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