Rockchip Electronics shows off windowed multitasking for Android

by: Robert TriggsJuly 23, 2013

Rockchip Android multitasking

Multitasking isn’t one of Android’s strong points, in fact most other mobile operating systems struggle with it too. But with the prevalence of multi-core hardware offering all the power we need, it seems such a waste that software hasn’t managed to the keep pace.

Industry giants, like Samsung and LG, and custom ROMs, such as CyanogenMod and Paranoid Android, have all tried to solve the problem with their own unique ideas, but some new competition from Rockchip Electronics could be the best multi-tasking solution for Android that we have seen so far.

The software, which is built on top of Android 4.2.2, adds in support for multiple windows running at once, allowing you to play videos, browse the web, scroll through your image gallery, and compose a new email, all at the same time. The company has even included various touch gestures to manage the windows, and has numerous features to arrange your apps, including app stacking, auto-snap and re-sizing, as well as the familiar maximize and restore buttons. Take a look at the video below to see the feature in action.

We don’t yet know whether Rockchip plans to bring this software to market as a universal download, but I’d certainly be willing to pay for this extra functionality on my current tablet. More likely, you should probably keep your eyes peeled for this feature in new tablets utilizing Rockchip’s processors.

  • Nico

    let’s hope they get this going before the Note lineup gets hold of this

  • Bone


  • Kindroid

    If it works, Google should just buy them and include in Android. Would kick iPhone and WP8 butt for sure.

    • Nech

      Yup, buying a Chinese processors manufacturer would SURELY be cheap and easy way. Much better idea than buying just the patent :p

      • Brandon Jiang


        an american company can’t just buy a patent from a CHINESE company… and bring it to the US patent system….

    • Piyush

      but they are still kicking wp8 and ios ;) .

    • Then Google would get the mini stick PC’s as well. I like it.

    • Lisandro O Oocks

      “Why pay when you can do it yourself.” I’m sure Google can engineer such thing as windows in android. Even Samsung can do it. Google can do it better, so far they haven’t because deep down their minimalist cajones won’t allow them.

  • igot2bme


  • igot2bme


  • spade

    in case you guys didn’t know this existing awesome video player, try this…

    • MasterMuffin

      There are others like that and floating browsers and floating calculators and floating this and that. This Rockchip thing is different, because it allows making every app float

      • spade

        yea i know that, just an info for cool video player….btw you mentioned a floating browser what is the name of that browser? :D

        • MasterMuffin

          Just search from Google Play “floating browser” and there are 2 options + one option with a browser and 6 other floating apps! Making of floating apps exploded after sgs3 came to market with its floating stuff and now everything floats :)

          • spade

            LOL…thanks Bro, found it, there’s a bunch of them……i just went full retard XD

          • Victor V.

            i’ve been there before. No worries bud.

          • spade

            LOL XD

      • yaotly

        Yes this seems to be a framework implementation. Can wait to dig deeper.

  • Roberto Tomás

    not sure I care. the current system with one pane active at a time is a nice design paradigm: I kinda agree with Microsoft here — with modern mobile UIs, screen splitting is better than windowed apps. windows are for desktops, for mouse and keyboard systems. for slow, methodical input.

    I want to see contextual awareness, not retro ui mods

  • Fantastico

    Who made the tablet in the promo pic? It looks like an ipad mini, lol

    • Plumplum

      it’s a Chuwi v88
      Chinese 8″ 4/3 tablets exists for a while…2 or 3 years I think

      Apple only design small borders…
      Tablet is half the price, more powerfull, 4 times the RAM and with full connectivity (microUsb, microSD, micro HDMI, Miracast…)

      • Fantastico

        cheap chinese knock off then!

        • Plumplum

          or maybe some brands gives some high prices for a not so high hardware…

          Except the geometry of the GPU, iPad mini specs are lower…that’s physical facts. Exemples

          Quadcore A9 at 1.6Ghz (Chuwi) vs Dualcore A9 at 1Ghz (exactly the same, A9 is designed by Arm on iPad mini…soc Apple A5 is a CPU Dualcore A9)
          2GB (Chuwi) vs 512MB

          If you don’t ask you questions, I can’t do anything for you

  • Joseph

    Welcome to 1980.. WTF?

    “Yay we discovered how to make a window….”

    Why not just use Linux?

    • Panagiotis A

      Fair question.

      For me the answer is: Because this is a windowed implementation that should work out of the box, for relatively cheap tablets.

      There are no Linux tablets that I know of, I would certainly consider them if I found any in my price bracket. Until then, installing Linux on a tablet is rocket science for simple users and always stands a chance to go south.

      Also, if Ubuntu’s recommended hardware is any indication, Linux can’t work on mid-range hardware. An A15 dual processor and 2gb ram are recommended for a basic experience, A15 quad, 4gb and 10″+ screen for the full monty.

  • Locutus

    Impressive! But I can already do much of the stuff shown on my phone (and other Android phones), with apps like Pop-up Browse and Pop-up Player.

  • Brian Dong Min Kim

    Wasn’t this done first by samsung? o.O

    • yaotly

      It’s not the same, Samsung implementation is just custom apps to work this way, but Rockchip seems to be a framework implementation, meaning any app from the Google Play store should work out of the box. Well if they followed Android development guideline and it’s not just a port.

      • That would be really cool then, but you have to wonder why it hasn’t been done before now. Windows has had the snap feature since Windows 7 came out and the Samsung feature looks very similar. I want to see to RockChip in action.

        • yaotly

          Well in order to work properly apps would have to have a tablet UI, I think Google knows this has to be done and maybe they been waiting for apps to implement tablet UI. Hopefully Key Lime Pie would be the update where they will flip the switch.

  • Lonehangman

    Girls’ Generation :3
    Everything else was pretty cool too…

  • Grman Rodriguez

    Does it run smoothly? And can you use it for like Facebook Messenger and Messaging apps? Because that is the most used scenario I can think of