To the delight of many, Samsung resurrected its Good Lock customization app this summer. Stephen took an in-depth look at what could be done with it, and he liked what he saw. It's essentially a directory of other apps (or modules) that can be downloaded from Galaxy Apps and used to personalize your Samsung mobile experience.
Examples of the various modules include LockStar for altering your lockscreen and QuickStar for editing your quick settings, plus you can also get a bit more fancy with Edge Touch and Edge Lighting. The latest addition to the list is MultiStar, which is designed to enhance the multitasking functionality on your Samsung device.
Animations have been a big focus in Android P, so it was a bit surprising when the new Recents menu landed without one for invoking it. In earlier versions of Android P it just sort of plopped up without any fanfare. But now in DP3/Beta 2, Google has introduced a new rubbery bounce complete with corresponding haptic feedback, as well as a new semi-transparent rounded background for the app tray. The mild translucency in the full app list also appears to be mostly gone (thankfully).
One of the first things we noticed about Android's new vertical, gesture-based multitasking UI was that the option to clear all recent apps from the list was nowhere to be found. According to VP of engineering for Android Dave Burke, though, the change is temporary.
Google recently added split-screen snapping to Chrome OS so you could easily put two windows or web apps side-by-side. This was a welcome improvement, particularly on convertible machines with a tablet mode. Unfortunately, it didn't apply to Android apps before, but that functionality has now been added to the Chrome OS Canary channel.
Multi-window was one of the biggest and most useful additions to Android 7.0 Nougat. It made its debut on Android with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 all the way back in 2012, but it took a full four years to make its way into stock Android. It's since become a staple for many people; the convenience of watching a YouTube video while simultaneously scrolling through a Twitter or Facebook feed just can't be beat. With the O Developer Preview, Google has improved multi-window by enabling users to maintain a view of the app they've minimized when they head into the launcher, as well as expand or maximize it.
LG is good at getting ahead of the leaks. Why would you look for unofficial information when the company itself keeps feeding us more and more details about its upcoming products? Well, you wouldn't, especially when you have it straight from the horse's mouth that the upcoming G6 will have a 5.7" 1440x2880 display at 18:9 ratio and that it will be water-resistant. And today we have another teaser from LG to feast our eyes on.
Given the 18:9 aspect ratio of the screen (which, let's face it, is a bigger fancier way of saying 2:1) and the multi-window capability of Android 7.0 Nougat, the G6 will be able to run apps side-by-side in perfect squares.
Confession: as a web writer who has to constantly research new stories, keep an eye on social networks, stay in contact with my coworkers, and see if that jerk on eBay has outbid me for the LEGO T-rex from the Dino Defense HQ set, I often have dozens and dozens of Chrome tabs open on my desktop by the end of the day. That sort of wanton disregard for computer memory doesn't really translate over to mobile, where the single screen limits multitasking to a certain degree. But Google is going to enable my bad habits on Android phones and tablets soon: in the third developer preview of Android N, users can open Chrome windows side by side.
While maybe not the biggest change in Android N, Google announced a few interface changes to app switching that were particularly well-received during the I/O keynote. A couple of them had already popped up in the Developer Previews, but the keynote serves as confirmation that they will make it to the final builds. A change that is new to all of us is that there will be a reduction in the number of apps shown in the recent apps UI. Anything that hasn't been used "in a while" will be hidden from the user.
This, Google says, is because their user research showed that over 99% of users never accessed an app further back than 7 in the recent apps UI.
While the Note 5 and S6 edge+ are far from the first Samsung phones with reported issues killing background tasks with unusual aggressiveness, they are the first ones with four freaking gigabytes of RAM to do so. We've long assumed that Samsung's background task issues on certain handsets are related to a lack of RAM headroom due to TouchWiz, and yet, the Note 5 and S6 edge+ may exhibit the most aggravating task killing of any Samsung devices we've yet seen. Let's cut to the video for a complete explanation. (I realize it's long, but I'd recommend watching all the way through to see what's going on here.)
The issue was readily reproducible on both our S6 edge+ and Note 5 review units, and we aren't the first people to point this out.