Google Developing ‘App Pairs’ For Split Screen Functionality In Android 12

Google is reportedly attempting to improve the “Split Screen” functionality that currently exists in the Android mobile operating system. With Android devices getting bigger, and even featuring multiple screens, the upcoming iteration of the OS is expected to offer a better experience than the current one.

The Split Screen process allows two apps to work simultaneously and in the foreground. Until Android 11, the function was quite rudimentary. And with newer devices with innovative form factors, the process is now a bit awkward. To address the same, Google is working on a revamped version of split-screen called “App Pairs.”

How Will The App Pairs Function Work In Google’s Android 12 OS?

According to early reports, Google is attempting to revamp the split-screen system in Android 12 with a new feature called “App Pairs.” At present, the current split-screen system essentially “pins” one app. But in Android 12, the App Pairs system will group two apps together as one “task.”

This means users will be able to pick two of their recently opened apps, and they will become a pair. Once paired, users should be able to easily swap to using a different single app and then swap back to the pair they created.

Similar to the split-screen function existent today, the Android 12 App Pairs system will offer a divider to let users adjust how much of the screen is taken up by each app. Interestingly, even the simple divider is reportedly gaining a bit more functionality. It will allow users to quickly swap the positions of their two apps by double-tapping the same.

Google Inspired By Third-Party Alternatives To the Split Screen?

App Pairs is the same name given to similar functionality on Samsung’s flagship phones. On Samsung Galaxy phones, App Pairs are shortcuts to quickly open two apps in Samsung’s Multi Window mode. Although Google’s version is currently a mystery, it is possible that the company may offer a way to create shortcuts with “pairs of apps” for quick access.

According to previous timelines of the Android Developer Preview versions, the one for Android 12 could arrive as early as next month. In other words, the App Pairs functionality could reveal itself shortly. It is, however, important to note that the Developer Preview iterations are quite dynamic. In other words, the features and functionalities visible within these versions may or may not be extended in the stable release of Android 12.

Alap Naik Desai


A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.