Between AirCalc, AirTerm, OverSkreen, and LilyPad HD one this is certain: we love floating apps. And by "we," I mean basically every Android user in existence who multitasks with their device. These apps are insanely useful, especially on large-screened devices like tablets.

What we need, though, is more of them. Now, thanks to a new open source library called StandOut, it's going to be easier than ever for developers to create floating apps.

As you can see, this basically lays the framework down for app developers to build their own windowed apps. Best of all, StandOut is completely free and open source, so, with enough support, will likely get better as time goes on.

Any developer who wants to check StandOut can head over to the source thread on XDA to grab the download. Now, hurry up with those floating apps! And if you're having problems thinking of what to build, a killer floating music player might be a good place to start (hint, hint).


Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Justin-Moore/100000103458508 Justin Moore

    I would totally use a floating notepad/note-taking app. Switching between OfficeSuite Pro and Catch Notes gets pretty annoying.

    • Mark Wei

      Seems like there is quite a bit of need for something like this someone else was asking about it too http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=27259634&postcount=49

    • SYO

      I'm definitely looking for a floating notepad app as well! I thought I was the only one..Hopefully a dev picks up on the idea. Fingers crossed for it to look nice! Although I love Overskreen, I find the interface a bit dated looking...and the icons that dev uses for his apps are just..not that great looking. 

      • wutk3ksHD


  • Hubert Haik

    Talking about floating apps, I just discovered "Scrolling Notification" (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.stephapps.scrollingnotificationfree) that acts like a news ticker. I use it to display incoming sms and reply to them!

  • Spydie

    I hate floating apps.  They are always over top of something I want to see, especially when I slide to another home screen.  What I really want are apps that stay where you put them, on one page only, then you could have a blank home screen and position several things you want leave "open".  But the way they now work is they float to every screen you scroll to, and that's real annoying.  If any of you android people love your "Lion" mac and Android but hate iOS like I do, then you know what I mean about being able to have a different app on each screen.  On my Mac OSX I have my mail open on one screen, slide to the left and the next screen has my browser and tweedeck open, slide to the next screen and my DVD copy program is open, etc, etc, for as many screens as I want, and I leave them all running all the time.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      Sounds like you just want every app as a widget. 

      • Spydie

        You could call them that... but that's not what they are on my Mac.  Each app can stay open on any screen you want it, but a widget probably wouldn't work because it doesn't have all the functionality of the appl

        • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

          What you want is a better (read: different) way of navigating between open/running applications. Not trying to sell you on it, but you're describing Windows 8 on a tablet.

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    Quick thought, this may become a dangerously over-used feature...

    Hopefully developers are smart enough to use this sort of thing sparingly and make it an extension of their apps, not just make apps 100% floating (unless it makes sense).

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  • Ron Amadeo

    That's great but they need to cut WAY down on that title bar. Down to like, nothing. We don't have the space to spare on a phone screen. Put close in the long press menu.

    Floating widget does it right. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.milone.floatwidget&feature=search_result

    • Mark Wei

      Thanks for the suggestion Ron. What you see in the video is actually not the default look-and-feel. Floating windows will be titlebar-less, unless the developer explicitly requests the system to provide window decorations (which I have done in my demo video).

      • Ron Amadeo

        OH. Cool. Good job.

  • Mark Wei

    Hi, creator of StandOut here. Its kind of a wild feeling to find my project on the homepage of an Android blog I follow. Feel free to ask me any questions on this post or my G+ page and I'll try my best to answer.

    • Dangy

      Just wanna say thanks!

  • Stephen Milone

    why no love for Floating Widget in the list of floating apps at the start? =(  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.milone.floatwidget

    PS Cameron: you can use Floating Widget with your music player's home screen widget.

  • redalin

    Can i make a floating app that is in the form of a circle? or only rectangles are possible?