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.
Windows can be resized dynamically by dragging the corner, just like a desktop. Apps can also be snapped into a grid that can be re-proportioned as needed. Additionally, each one of the tiled apps is running live and the UI looks very responsive. There's no telling what this is doing to battery life, but it could be hugely useful on a tablet. It's not something you can just download, though. Ixonos works with OEMs to license its technology, but where?
We reached out to Ixonos and asked about its OEM partners. The response was a little cryptic, making reference to tier one OEMs that it cannot name. Ixonos implies the technology has been used in a number of Android releases. Samsung has long been shipping multi-window tech with its devices, but it doesn't look exactly like the Ixonos demo. Perhaps the underlying technology has been licensed to a few different OEMs for use in floating apps. Maybe we're talking about hardware-level interactions with a partner like MediaTek. The exact implementation shown in the video doesn't seem to exist in the wild, but maybe someday. Imagine how cool it would be to have this in your favorite ROM.