January 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.

Robert Triggs
Lead Technical Writer at Android Authority, covering the latest trends in consumer electronics and hardware. In his spare moments, you'll probably find him tinkering with audio electronics and programming.
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