Linked by the_randymon on Tue 29th Jan 2013 01:23 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "Samsung's recent Android 4.1.2 upgrade for the Galaxy Note 10.1 adds power and flexibility to the company's unique offering of Android multiwindowing features. With this update, the Galaxy Note 10.1 can run up to 16 multiwindow-enabled Android apps at once, Windows/Mac-like, on a single screen. Apps endowed with Samsung's multiwindow technology are usable in three viewing modes: full screen, dual view, and cascade view." There are already some complaining this represents a dangerous fork of Android. I thinks it's a step in the right direction.
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Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Tue 29th Jan 2013 01:43 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

I thinks it's a step in the right direction.

Well then you'd be better off buying a laptop instead of tablet :p

I will say, I quite liked the idea behind Win8's multi-Window in (the artist formally known as) Metro. It's clean way of tiling Windows. But even that would only be practical on a larger tablet (such as this 10"). Anything smaller and managing Windows will be a nightmare (it's hard enough tapping hyperlinks with my imprecise, stubby, fingers). But overlapping Windows is just a no-no for any tablet.

What's worse, Samsung's implementation isn't even elegantly done. Granted, I don't think there is an elegant way to overlap windows on a tablet. But even so, that just looks bad. Seriously Samsung, what were you thinking?

Sometimes I really do wish Samsung left the software development to Google.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Comment by Laurence
by WorknMan on Tue 29th Jan 2013 01:59 UTC in reply to "Comment by Laurence"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Sometimes I really do wish Samsung left the software development to Google.


This. Please keep it stock, people. If you want to take Android, gussy it up and put your shitty bloatware all over it, then fork the OS like Amazon did and don't call it Android. 'But xyz's bloatware isn't that bad!' Yeah, like having an infected scrotum isn't that bad ;)

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Comment by Laurence
by some1 on Tue 29th Jan 2013 04:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Laurence"
some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

Sure, we'd all prefer Google to add proper tiling. Where're they when you need them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Laurence
by WorknMan on Tue 29th Jan 2013 05:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Laurence"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Sure, we'd all prefer Google to add proper tiling. Where're they when you need them.


Just because Android doesn't have every feature under the sun right now doesn't mean that everybody and their grandma should start f**king with it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Laurence
by some1 on Tue 29th Jan 2013 05:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Laurence"
some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

Really? Why was it open sourced then?

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by Laurence
by WorknMan on Tue 29th Jan 2013 06:14 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Laurence"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Really? Why was it open sourced then?


Honestly, I have no idea. Since Google keeps the main code base under lock and key, opening the source code seems to serve no other purpose than to ensure that vendors can fragment the shit out of it. It's bad enough that people consider the Kindle Fire to be an Android tablet (which it isn't):

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/01/kindle-fire-nabs-33-of-andro...

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Laurence
by przemo_li on Tue 29th Jan 2013 06:56 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Laurence"
przemo_li Member since:
2010-06-01

Shortsighted and lacking proper fact hunting opinion.


Google incorporated DOZENS of vendor specific features into its upstream Android.

If fact most of UI features where at least inspired by OEM's software.

This time it will be same thing. Google will at least add split mode.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Laurence
by henderson101 on Tue 29th Jan 2013 10:44 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Laurence"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

"Really? Why was it open sourced then?


Honestly, I have no idea.
"

Because they use GPL code and the license dictates that they must provide the source code for any changes they make?

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Comment by Laurence
by some1 on Tue 29th Jan 2013 14:10 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Laurence"
some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

Bullshit. All Android user space is Apache or BSD licensed. They only had to provide sources for the kernel.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Tue 29th Jan 2013 10:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Laurence"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Sure, we'd all prefer Google to add proper tiling. Where're they when you need them.

I'm genuinely not that fussed about proper tiling. Like I said in my original post; it's always going to be a little awkward on smaller screens (which the vast majority of Android ROMs are running on).

Plus I don't really think you can criticize Google here as they're much quicker at pushing out new features than Microsoft and Apple (although maybe that trend is changing?)

Edited 2013-01-29 10:11 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Laurence
by some1 on Tue 29th Jan 2013 13:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Laurence"
some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

10" is hardly a "smaller screen". It's twice the size of Nexus 7. The first thing I thought was: there's too much space to usefully cover in most apps; this can show more than one app at a time, e.g. mail and calendar and notes or weather. Other tablets had tiling before, e.g. Adam. We can hardly fail Samsung for trying to make the device more useful. The idea is right, and however crappy their implementation is you don't have to use it. Maybe Google will do it better in stock.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Tue 29th Jan 2013 14:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Laurence"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

10" is hardly a "smaller screen".

I wasn't suggesting a 10" tablet is small.

Let me refer you back to my original comment for better context:
I will say, I quite liked the idea behind Win8's multi-Window in (the artist formally known as) Metro. It's clean way of tiling Windows. But even that would only be practical on a larger tablet (such as this 10"). Anything smaller and managing Windows will be a nightmare


Thus my point you're querying is in reference to how most Android powered devices are 7" and under.

Edited 2013-01-29 14:39 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Laurence
by some1 on Tue 29th Jan 2013 16:12 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Laurence"
some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

Well, no one's saying you need tilling on your phone. Just like you don't want tablet apps to be scaled up phone versions, and some apps have different layouts for tablets, you may well want more windowing features on bigger screens. It's true that so far Android is mostly on phones and 7" tablets, but now Google released the official 10". They didn't put much work into using all that new space compared with 7", though.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Tue 29th Jan 2013 18:00 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Laurence"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

What "new space"? Unless the resolution is higher on the larger screens, there isn't technically any more space - it's just a lower pixel density. However to answer your point, Google did put a lot of work into supporting different screen sizes and resolutions.

The Android SDK is developed in such a way that each application can have different layouts for different screen resolutions and dimensions. So a 10" screen can display a slightly more tweaked interface than a 7" and a 4". (I expect you're already be aware of this much though).

All this has been in place since Android 2.0, but even with the maturity of the APIs, sadly not all developers write adaptive apps - which is why you see some that look scaled. This is then the fault of the app developers rather than a lack of support from Google (however I wouldn't go too hard on the app dev's, for reasons I'll explain later on).

It's also worth noting that a lot of phone / tablet OS's could not, until recently, handle different resolutions. Remember when the iPad was first released and apps had to be scales up? Then when Apple changed the aspect ratio on the iPhone and implemented the laughable "black bar solution" for existing apps. And WebOS (as much as I love that platform) was even worse; it wouldn't even scale up apps built in the same aspect ratio. So phone apps would literally have a huge amount of black space surrounding them when run on a tablet (if I recall correctly, HP designed a picture of a smart phone that the app would sit inside - to reduce appearance of the huge back frames - but even that looked tacky).

So if you really want to argue about wasted space, then perhaps you should look at how badly some of the competing platforms handle different resolutions and then how well Android phone and tablet applications coexist. And then if you still want to kick off at Google, then blame them for allowing Android to get so fragmented; because the real issue here is developers being overwhelmed rather than Android not bothering to take advantage of higher screen resolutions (and I can say this from personal experience having written a few Android apps myself).

<sarcasm>
But all of this is moot because it's so much easier for anonymous online personalities to whine about the lack of one feature that is almost entire useless on 99% of installs and not even present in all bar one of the competing OSs.
</sarcasm>

edit: and I realise I'm probably coming off as a bit of a Google-fanboy. I'm genuinely not. I just you're "making a mountain out of a molehill" (British expression, not sure if it's known else where http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Make_a_mountain_out_of_a_molehill ).

There's much worse issues with Android than the lack of tiling. So I'd rather Google spend their time addressing them first.

Edited 2013-01-29 18:04 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Laurence
by moondevil on Tue 29th Jan 2013 07:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Laurence"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

This is why stock Linux distributions will never happen in the desktop.

OEMs want product differentiation, to show the customers they offer something different from the stock product you can get everywhere.

I can hardly wait for Samsung Linux and similar products from other vendors.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by Laurence
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 29th Jan 2013 18:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Laurence"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

This is why OEMs are dying. They want to stand out and make money, this leads to the craptacular amount of crapware on pcs, plus the oem's own "support software" to make it easier to order more ink or a completely new computer when the current one is too overloaded with crap the crapware installs.

This is why Microsoft is moving into hardware.

With linux, they could differentiate with things like kde plasmoids, themes, and ease of use ( zero config for your specific hardware), without greatly affecting its speed or functionality.

But of course MS office would be out of the question.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Laurence
by moondevil on Wed 30th Jan 2013 09:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Laurence"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

I know it would probably make hardware expensive again, but I miss the all-in-one computers from the late 80's, Amiga, Atari, Mac and so on.

The differentiation was made by the full package, hardware + software, and not via crapware.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Laurence
by zima on Sun 3rd Feb 2013 23:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Laurence"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

This is why OEMs are dying. They want to stand out and make money, this leads to the craptacular amount of crapware on pcs [...]
With linux, they could differentiate with things like kde plasmoids, themes, and ease of use ( zero config for your specific hardware), without greatly affecting its speed or functionality.

They could probably do something close to that with Windows, too - but guess what they choose to do.

And actually, Android Linux phones typically come with ~crapware included...

Reply Score: 2

Why?
by sb56637 on Tue 29th Jan 2013 04:10 UTC
sb56637
Member since:
2006-05-11

I don't get it. Why would I want to see multiple apps running at once on such a relatively small screen? What I would rather see is a way to keep ANY app running in the background without it specifically being coded to do so. And, here's the kicker... I want to be able to close it! Without killing it with the back button. No matter what they say, I still think I'm smarter than Android is when it comes to managing my device's memory. I'm organized enough to remember and to choose which apps will keep running and which will be closed.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Why?
by saso on Tue 29th Jan 2013 08:11 UTC in reply to "Why?"
saso Member since:
2007-04-18

I want to be able to close it! Without killing it with the back button.

Tap app switcher button, swipe unneeded app away; app closes.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Why?
by bentoo on Tue 29th Jan 2013 17:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Why?"
bentoo Member since:
2012-09-21

"I want to be able to close it! Without killing it with the back button.

Tap app switcher button, swipe unneeded app away; app closes.
"

Actually app sometimes (or partially) closes.

Edited 2013-01-29 17:53 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Why?
by Kochise on Tue 29th Jan 2013 14:19 UTC in reply to "Why?"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Have you tried WebOS and its cards ?

Kochise

Reply Score: 2

RE: Why?
by bentoo on Tue 29th Jan 2013 17:44 UTC in reply to "Why?"
bentoo Member since:
2012-09-21

...I still think I'm smarter than Android is when it comes to managing my device's memory. I'm organized enough to remember and to choose which apps will keep running and which will be closed.


Sure. But what about your battery? Managing the dozens of the background tasks on Android is a full time job.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Why?
by cdude on Wed 30th Jan 2013 09:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Why?"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

What dozend of background tasks you refer too? At Android apps in background may closed anytime and are restored when you switch back making them irrelevant for battery.

Only exceptions are services which register themselfs so Android does keep them running even in background. There are not dozend of them. There are usually zero as default (except you copy a file or download in which case a service is running till the job is done).

The argument with manually managing closing apps to save battery is not really one. Just move them to background and trust the system to close them if they consume to much mem/cpu/battery. No point in doing it manually except for your own feeling of control and habits from other OS's.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why?
by tomz on Wed 30th Jan 2013 21:47 UTC in reply to "Why?"
tomz Member since:
2010-05-06

If you need to look up multiple things and/or do multiple cut-pastes, e.g. from a web page to an email.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why?
by zima on Tue 5th Feb 2013 18:13 UTC in reply to "Why?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

No matter what they say, I still think I'm smarter than Android is when it comes to managing my device's memory. I'm organized enough to remember and to choose which apps will keep running and which will be closed.

Well, most people tend think they're smarter than they really are - illusory superiority (and similar) is one of more widespread cognitive biases ;P

Reply Score: 2

Interesting development
by siraf72 on Tue 29th Jan 2013 09:08 UTC
siraf72
Member since:
2006-02-22

Overall an interesting feature. Though I think this one will stay in the realm of techies.

From my own experience, I've seen users change their desktop behaviour to match the iOS experience. That is to say, they never previously used virtual desktops, but now use them regularly since MacOS introduced the Full Screen view for desktop apps. That's clearly the polar opposite of this development.

Still the more variations the better. I do believe forking represents a short term problem for Android but in the long run it's not a bad thing. Google releases will incorporate the best features in all the variants. The OEMS are basically providing Google with a nice test bed for new ideas.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Interesting development
by wonea on Tue 29th Jan 2013 09:34 UTC in reply to "Interesting development"
wonea Member since:
2005-10-28

Agreed, as long as Google keeps pushing ahead with Android development as fast as it is.

Reply Score: 2

LG
by Kancept on Tue 29th Jan 2013 11:33 UTC
Kancept
Member since:
2006-01-09

I saw a commercial where LG phones already did this. I think it was the Optimus G was updated for it. Is this really a fork? I thought it was just a feature that wasn't enabled in all builds, and not so much a fork.

Reply Score: 2

4.1?
by steve_s on Tue 29th Jan 2013 11:56 UTC
steve_s
Member since:
2006-01-16

Is it just me that's reading this and thinking "4.1? Why aren't they doing this on 4.2?"

Reply Score: 2

RE: 4.1?
by cdude on Tue 29th Jan 2013 16:33 UTC in reply to "4.1?"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

That and "Ah, another new invention we have since years on desktops. Patent it before Apple does!"

Reply Score: 1

Pff
by twitterfire on Tue 29th Jan 2013 12:09 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

If I want goddam windowing on a tablet, I'd rather install the upcoming Ubuntu for tablets/phones than use Android. Android is ok like it is, it doesn't need windows.

I for sure don't want windows on goddam phone.

And if I want to use a desktop I will run an OS designed for desktops, unlike Windows 8.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Pff
by tomz on Wed 30th Jan 2013 21:52 UTC in reply to "Pff"
tomz Member since:
2010-05-06

Unlike many iOS features, if you don't want to use them, you can just ignore it.

Now just go and maximize the dos command window...

Reply Score: 0

No xMonad, no talk
by gan17 on Tue 29th Jan 2013 12:54 UTC
gan17
Member since:
2008-06-03

If I can't configure its behaviour in Haskell, I'm not interested. =P

Reply Score: 2

RE: No xMonad, no talk
by twitterfire on Tue 29th Jan 2013 14:37 UTC in reply to "No xMonad, no talk"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

Haskell is for carebears, real men use Cobol!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No xMonad, no talk
by cdude on Tue 29th Jan 2013 16:30 UTC in reply to "RE: No xMonad, no talk"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

Real man produce the electricity to represent binary true, false and maybe's themselfs using amount of Tequilla!

Edited 2013-01-29 16:35 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Windows in Android ?
by Kochise on Tue 29th Jan 2013 14:25 UTC
Kochise
Member since:
2006-03-03

Good bye Windows ! It will requires more refining, but towards Android 6, we'll get a mature yet easy to use OS that is not as bloated Windows and Ubuntu currently are, thus usable even by by parents.

Kochise

Reply Score: 2

RE: Windows in Android ?
by bentoo on Tue 29th Jan 2013 17:58 UTC in reply to "Windows in Android ?"
bentoo Member since:
2012-09-21

Good bye Windows ! It will requires more refining, but towards Android 6, we'll get a mature yet easy to use OS that is not as bloated Windows and Ubuntu currently are, thus usable even by by parents.


Requires quad core, 2GB of RAM, and ~2GB of storage for OS? Sounds like bloat to me. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Windows in Android ?
by Kochise on Tue 29th Jan 2013 19:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Windows in Android ?"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Really ? You wanna know what's a real bloat to me ? Read this : http://www.osnews.com/story/26741/64GB_Surface_Pro_has_only_23GB_us...

With size of Android apps hardly above 10 MB (beside games) and memory fully expandable with microSDHC cards (beside Nexus line) do the math !

Kochise

Reply Score: 2

RE: Windows in Android ?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 29th Jan 2013 23:28 UTC in reply to "Windows in Android ?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Ubuntu Bloated? What part of Ubuntu would you refer to as bloat? Unity?

If part of it annoys you, just remove or replace it.

Reply Score: 2

The "Note" factor
by dsmogor on Tue 29th Jan 2013 15:18 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

One important factor is that the change is meant primarily for "Galaxy Note" series devices.
These add precision input that quite significantly alters assumptions that underly touch guis paradigms.
Note devices are also what Samsung hopes to be their ultimate differentiation engine. If they can indeed squeeze added value from the pen input through input paradigm extension I believe this hope is justified.

Reply Score: 2

Tablet apps shortage.
by dsmogor on Tue 29th Jan 2013 15:26 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

Android still has problem with tablet optimized apps.
Another way I see those efforts is that multiwindow mode is a way to effectively utilize apps that only have phone layout without wasting screen space.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Tablet apps shortage.
by cdude on Wed 30th Jan 2013 10:08 UTC in reply to "Tablet apps shortage."
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

Some apps which never got adapted to proper work at small, medium and large may. Hard to impossible to force any app-dev to do right. Not only when it comes to screen size but also to standard UI concepts like not using a dark font on a dark blackground, not write text in all upper-case and not annoy.

What matters is most apps using newer Android API's do, its easy to handle different form factors in your app and the number of major apps doing it right are improving.

Reply Score: 1

Onward to the PC!
by andrewclunn on Tue 29th Jan 2013 18:51 UTC
andrewclunn
Member since:
2012-11-05

What a marvelous innovation! I foresee a time in the not too distant future where people want their tablets to use full physical keyboards, and hook up to their big screen TVs! Of course this will require some device to 'tap' things without touching the screen. Perhaps some as of yet uninvented USB peripheral? They may even want a stable power outlet and the option of a wired internet connection for faster downloads. Then they'll be able to surf the web while video chatting on skype, and maybe even not be tied down to a phone carrier. Oh the future of computing is just around the corner. Soon we will enter the age of the desktop PC!

Reply Score: 3

RE: Onward to the PC!
by Kochise on Tue 29th Jan 2013 22:43 UTC in reply to "Onward to the PC!"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Nope, the tablet form factor is almost the best out there, I'm currently writing from my Nexus 7. It's just that for a more steady business, say a little office job, a hardware keyboard is more comfortable, whatever you may believe. The 10" Asus Transformer Pad is just the right balance between mobility and serious business. In fact, ultra portable are sure more powerful but too expensive. A 450 euros device that draw 3W of energy is far enough for 95 percent of cases, and you can bear to wait a little for the remaining 5.

Kochise

Reply Score: 2