Google Android was designed first and foremost for smartphones with small displays and low power processors. So it’s no surprise that apps are typically designed to run in full screen mode and when you switch between running apps, most apps will go into a sort of suspend mode in the background (with the exception of some multimedia apps such as music players). But when you put Android on a tablet or another device with a large display, what’s to stop you from opening multiple apps side-by-side in separate windows?
Actually, the operating system pretty much stops you from doing that. But the folks at Ixonos have developed software that runs on top of Android to give the OS a more desktop-like feel.
Here’s how it works. Each app runs in its own window, which you can drag and drop anywhere on the screen. This lets you run a web browser in one window and a notepad app in the other. Or you can have a calendar open in one window and an email app in the next. You can also maximize windows to take up the whole screen. The Ixonos software also prevents apps from going into suspend mode when you switch between them, allowing you to continue watching a video in one window while performing another task in a separate window.
Ixonos also showed how the software could work on tablets with dual screen displays, letting you run one app in a left window and a second in the right.