Nexus tablets won’t get Android N’s free-form window mode

Google Pixel C-1

One of the most exciting new features coming to Android N won’t be available on Google’s own tablets. Free-form window mode, which lets users run resizable apps side-by-side, will be missing on Nexus and Pixel C devices.

Free-form window mode lets you use Android more like a desktop operating system; you can open multiple apps inside individual windows, then resize them to your liking. This makes it easier to switch between different things while multitasking.

But unfortunately for Google tablet owners, free-form windows won’t be available inside their Android N upgrade.

“To be clear, the API will be there for app developers and OEMs to use and implement, but as far as Google’s Nexus and Pixel C devices are concerned, it’s going to be a no show,” explains SlashGear.

So, you might find free-form window mode on tablets from third-party manufacturers like Samsung and LG — and Android developers will be able to adapt their apps for it. But the feature will simply be unavailable on Google’s own devices.

It’s thought Google has reservations about exactly how user-friendly free-form window mode will be. On smaller tablets especially, it’s likely to be too fiddly to use practically, and Google appears to be distancing itself from any negative feedback that may arise.

The good news is Nexus and Pixel C owners will still get split-screen mode, which lets you run two apps side-by-side.

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