Android 7.0 Nougat brings a range of great new features to the Android operating system, and one of the most useful so far is multi-window support. Rather than having to switch back and forth from app to app, it is now possible to have apps open side-by-side and work in them at the same time. This was previously possible on some devices, such as many from Samsung’s Galaxy S line, through manufacturer modifications to the operating system, but now it is universally available on the latest version of Android. Now, an app developer has found a way to make this feature even better.
Along with multi-window support, Nougat includes a new “free form” window feature that works much like Microsoft’s Windows desktop operating system; app windows can be resized and moved, and multiple windows can be opened at the same time, even overlapping each other. This feature, however, is turned off by default. But Redditor and app developer Braden Farmer has figured out a way to enable this feature without rooting the device. To turn on free form mode, you’ll need to first turn on “Developer options” in your settings menu. To do this, scroll down to About Device, and then tap “Build number” seven times. Now, “Developer options” will appear in the previous menu right above “About device”. From here, turn on the “Force activities to be resizable” option, and then reboot. Next, download the app called Taskbar from the Google Play Store (developed by Farmer himself). In the app, turn on the option called “Freeform window support”, and turn Taskbar on. You will now see a persistent app drawer icon. From task manager, clear all running apps, and then return to the home screen. There is a minor glitch that will require you to tap the new app drawer icon a few times before it will work properly, but once you do, it should work from that point on with no issues. Now, when you open an app, it will be in a floating resizable window!
Unfortunately, most Android devices have not yet received Nougat. But for those using a current Nexus device or Google Pixel C who want to get a bit more functionality out of their Android devices, this workaround will certainly help you be more productive. It can also make Android tablets easier to use for those who are accustomed to Windows, as the Taskbar app adds not only a Windows style taskbar, but turns the app drawer icon into a faux “Start menu”. The developer notes that this has been tested on the Google Now Launcher, so if you are using a different launcher, keep in mind that your mileage may vary. You can find the Taskbar app via the link below.