Android 6.0.1 is still fresh out of the oven, but a new rumor will leave many craving next year’s Android 6.1 release. A new rumor claims that Google is planning to bake a few enhancements for app permissioning and split-screen app support into Android 6.1 when it’s released next June. Android 6.1 is expected to be a minor update and will carry the Marshmallow label, so we’ll likely be treated to an even bigger release in the second half of 2016.
An early version of multi-windows functionality was actually hidden away in an Android M preview build. It allowed users to choose between multiple screen layouts that pinned two apps side-by-side or four apps in a grid layout. The functionality can be seen in the video below. Split-screen or multi-window support (we’re not sure what the final name will actually be) will certainly improve the functionality or Android tablets, but it could be heavily used on smartphones as well since many people now use devices with displays that are 5.5 inches or larger.
While we’re delighted to hear that split-screen support in Android is finally on its way, the rumor’s timeline for Android 6.1′s release conflicts with a rumor regarding HTC’s 2016 flagship phone, the HTC Perfume. According to @LlabTooFeR, the HTC Perfume is expected to launch with Android 6.1. Since the retail launch of HTC’s flagship phones typically fall between late March and the end of April, Android 6.1 would need to be released sooner or the HTC Perfume would launch before the software is available. At this point, it’s impossible to know how things will play out.
Do you think split-screen functionality will make Android tablets more appealing for consumers and developers?