Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 25th Sep 2013 01:58 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

Mobile devices are designed primarily as a modal experience. You use one app at a time, but can switch between them quickly. Multi-window interfaces and floating apps have been implemented a few times as an alternative, but most of these solutions are a bit clunky. Ixonos has released a new video demo of its multi-window technology, and it looks much better. If only we knew where to get it.

This is very awesome, and essentially very similar to Metro snapping - except with traditional windowing abilities, something Metro should have as well. They won't say who they are developing this for, but I wouldn't be surprised to eventually see Android applications running in a similar fashion on ChromeOS.

Order by: Score:
usefull
by Janvl on Wed 25th Sep 2013 07:20 UTC
Janvl
Member since:
2007-02-20

This would mean a giant leap in usability, hope it will come soon.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Radio
by Radio on Wed 25th Sep 2013 08:11 UTC
Radio
Member since:
2009-06-20

If I understand well what was written in a comment by +Panaoid Android on G+, Google CTS (compatibility test suite) does not accept that one resizes an app after it has been opened. Android apps can adapt to different sizes/DPI but once launched, the positions are supposed to be set in absolute.

If that's the case some apps may work but many may not, as this is not a behaviour developers expected until now.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Radio
by reduz on Wed 25th Sep 2013 15:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by Radio"
reduz Member since:
2006-02-25

That's kind of relative.

Most apps handle resizing anyway because when you switch from landscape to portrait, Android does in fact send a geometry change event. For OpenGL apps/games it would be completely transparent.

Also, most apps use layouts (otherwise dynamic DPI would be really difficult to handle) so adapting to this makes it even easier.

Edited 2013-09-25 15:38 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by flypig
by flypig on Wed 25th Sep 2013 08:18 UTC
flypig
Member since:
2005-07-13

This looks like nice technology and the video shows it working well. The four-way grid arrangement is particularly neat (especially covering more than the screen).

I can't help feeling the overlapping Windows paradigm has had its day though. We should have moved beyond it. In particular, with the way windows leap to the front when you interact with them, I can envisage few use-cases where it's beneficial.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by flypig
by PieterGen on Wed 25th Sep 2013 12:50 UTC in reply to "Comment by flypig"
PieterGen Member since:
2012-01-13

Yes, this screams for a tiling window approach.

Reply Score: 1

Nokia?
by cdude on Wed 25th Sep 2013 10:16 UTC
cdude
Member since:
2008-09-21

Ixonos was always mainly Nokia. Timing matches too.
So Nokia even added sugger like that on top of there Android. A shame we may never see the result.

Reply Score: 1

Google won't like it...
by ekollof on Wed 25th Sep 2013 12:16 UTC
ekollof
Member since:
2013-09-25
Needs different controls
by tkeith on Wed 25th Sep 2013 13:06 UTC
tkeith
Member since:
2010-09-01

Although I rarely find myself needing multiple programs open on my Android device;(screen is too small and RAM is limited) I can definitely see the potential for the future.

Still for touch I think we need different controls than the old widgets in the corners. Seems pretty tedious to me. I see they've added an icon to the navigation bar. This is a good start, but it should make it so when you push the button you can resize, then push it again to lock them and lose the window controls. Unfortunately Samsung and maybe others don't use a navigation bar, so I guess they'll have to find their own way.

Reply Score: 2

but...
by osvil on Wed 25th Sep 2013 14:18 UTC
osvil
Member since:
2012-10-25

I would personally prefer *not* having a tiling window manager in a phone/tablet. Easy switching between full screen apps trumps tiling windows in many cases. This is more the case in phone/tablets. If you add the screen space overhead of window borders that would be required to implement resizing/rearrangement of windows in a finger friendly way... I think it is non-sense.

My personal opinion.

Reply Score: 2

RE: but...
by darknexus on Wed 25th Sep 2013 15:14 UTC in reply to "but..."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I would personally prefer *not* having a tiling window manager in a phone/tablet. Easy switching between full screen apps trumps tiling windows in many cases. This is more the case in phone/tablets. If you add the screen space overhead of window borders that would be required to implement resizing/rearrangement of windows in a finger friendly way... I think it is non-sense.

My personal opinion.

And one I happen to agree with. In addition I find that, so long as the apps that need to update can keep running in the background, having one task in front of me at a time really helps me focus on getting that one task done. That's subjective, of course, and others will have a different workflow than I do, but I'm more productive when I can focus on one task at a time and flip between them at logical stopping points rather than being distracted by multiple windows trying to grab my attention at once. I've adapted rather well to the single-window workflow as it's mostly how I've always worked anyway. It doesn't work for everyone of course, but that's what choice is for, right?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: but...
by ThomasFuhringer on Thu 26th Sep 2013 07:14 UTC in reply to "RE: but..."
ThomasFuhringer Member since:
2007-01-25

That is why funcionality like this should be simply left up to users to switch it on or off in the settings. Some users might like it and gain a lot of productivity in their work from it.
Same for MDI.

Edited 2013-09-26 07:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

windowing
by Janvl on Wed 25th Sep 2013 15:41 UTC
Janvl
Member since:
2007-02-20

Just an example, I could test in 2 browserwindows two different designs for phones.
It would help.

Reply Score: 3