OmniROM aims to solve Android multi-window woes

by: Robert TriggsJanuary 21, 2014


OmniROM has been gaining popularity amongst the custom ROM community at a pretty rapid rate, due in no small part to the exceptional work they’ve been putting into the ROM’s unique features.

However, one particularly useful function missing from OmniROM is a multi-window feature. The team has been working on a multi-window solution for quite a while, but hasn’t been pleased with the results so far. As we’ve seen from Samsung’s Touchwiz, and various other developer implementations, multi-windows tends to be somewhat limited and lacking the refinement required to make Android multi-tasking run as smoothly as we’d all like. Even my beloved Paranoid Android’s Halo doesn’t quite offer a seamless multi-tasking experience.

All hope is not lost however, as the OmniROM development team have stumbled across some inspiration from a rather unlikely source, WebOS. Rather than stacking two apps side-by-side or opening up apps on top of one another, the solution may come from the hitherto untried method of stacking apps to the side of the display. It seems so obvious now!

If you’re struggling to envision what I mean, OmniROM developer XplodWild has put together a brief concept video to help demonstrate what this new idea could look like and how it might work.

There’s an awful lot to consider when designing a system like this, not least how easy or difficult something like this could be implemented into the existing Android structure. If you’re interested in this sort of thing, it’s certainly worth having a read through the whole thought process on the OmniROM blog.

With the planning well underway XplodWild has started working on updating his multi-window patch, which will hopefully make its way into OmniROM sometime soon. If this solution works as well in practise as it sounds, OmniROM would certainly be my next custom ROM.

  • Shark Bait

    I hope they pull this off. When i saw the OS concept I hoped some one could make it work for android. Looks perfect for tablets , good work guys!

    • Ivan Myring

      I’ve been using an unofficial version on my nexus 4 since omnirom was first announced, which has multi window built in, and it works great

      • Shark Bait

        Ive used in the past but i find paranoid android more useful. I would love for them to merge and make the best rom ever!

  • Fish bucket

    Samsung Galaxy S5 is in Slovakia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    They got spare parts.

    • MSmith79

      My Slovakian buddies are gonna be thrilled!

    • j7981

      What does that have to do with this article, Mr. Fish bucket?

  • MasterMuffin

    This should seriously be a feature of Android 4.5/5.0!

    • Shark Bait

      Well theirs a strong chance since their hired alot of the web os team, some of who dreamed this up in the first place. It also wouldn’t be the first time they pinched an idea from a custom rom

      • MasterMuffin

        That’s true!

        BTW I’ve tried to be less Grammar Nazi, but I’ve got to do just these two:

        • Shark Bait

          Down vote for being rasist to people who cannt spell lol!

          • MasterMuffin

            I do also make a lot of spelling mistakes, but now that you gave me -1, I’ve just got to continue:

          • Velvetmxo

            Do your thing Mr. Muffin. Fellow grammar nazi here.

          • MasterMuffin

            Kool dood i liek dooing mai ting


          • Velvetmxo


          • Timmy

            Sometimes its hard not to loose control when theirs so much to say. This used to be a site: but I think it went away. :-(

          • smokebomb

            The lose loose thing on the internet drives me insane.

          • Luqmaan Mathee

            Same here lol

          • mr cuneen

            mastermuffin you are the best lol


            MASTERMUFFIN I AM A FAN!!!!!

          • Jayfeather787

            I could have guessed from your username.

        • j7981

          Don’t forget *a lot

        • Timmy

          Forgot one…a lot (two words)

          • MasterMuffin

            Didn’t actually forget it, I just don’t mind small mistakes that could be typos

        • Melad360

          you forgot a lot* and not alot lol :P

    • thartist

      What i always notice with these edge-sliding designs is How would it work for apps that already have their menus from sliding from the side? Doesn’t one tread over the other?

      • MasterMuffin

        Don’t know, but any kind of multi window would be nice

  • Timmy

    Looks like they’re copying the LG Slide Aside concept but in a better, more polished way.

  • j7981

    Yes! Can’t wait to have this!

  • Cal Rankin

    Loving the idea. Hopefully this feature gets going quickly.

  • Simon Belmont

    I’m really hoping to see multi-window support in the next major version of Android. There are a ton of use-case scenarios where I’d love to have it, especially on my tablets (though I’d use it on my phone, too).

    This looks great. I’ve always been a big webOS fan, too, so this is kind of like going full circle.

  • Anders CT

    Looks good, except for the pop up menu.

  • Jesus

    Thank you, this shouldn’t be a Samsung exclusive.


    • Azeem

      There was an article written about how Google would have to do a lot of restructuring to get this onto Stock Android.

  • Kuba

    How to switch this on?

  • bob

    I’m really surprised that I don’t see an install candidate for the Note 3