Android Q Is Bubbling Up
Android Q made its debut recently in Beta format, and since then developers have begun downloading and experimenting with the new software. We wrote about some of the new features that it brought on its first day of release. Since then a new feature has risen up and could dramatically change how users interact with their phones. If you hadn’t guessed, it’s bubbles!
Multitasking Now and Then:
In the early days of Android we thought of multitasking as simply being able to switch between apps quickly. Then came the era of split screen. Admittedly it was not the best experience at first, but after a few adaptations the feature became quite useful. Larger screens also helped make this appealing.
Since then individual companies have experimented with other styles of multi-tasking such as floating apps or Facebook’s bubble conversations. But since these concepts were not part of Android’s software globally they have not gained as much traction as a universal adoption would. Then came Oreo’s picture in picture mode to achieve this global adoption, and since then we’ve been waiting to see what’s next.
But wait…as I just said bubbles have actually existed on Android via Facebook since 2013. So this release has quite a bit of déjà vu to it. It’s hard to say how much new will be brought to the table with the reappearing feature. But it will be coming in line with a lot more apps, and as more apps build functionality for a feature its comfort of use grows.
The idea behind this is exactly what you think of if you’ve ever used Facebook messaging. They are designed to hover on the side of your screen until you click on them or they receive a notification, and then they can expand to display more information. If you’re texting someone, you can use another app and then expand the bubble for a few moments to write a reply. Then press send and minimize it again almost seamlessly.
It’s a solid experience, just one that should have made its way into a lot more Android apps a long time ago. It’s not made for every app, but with more apps having the software easily available for use (instead of having to develop code themselves) we’re sure to see some good uses of it.
Multi-resume is supposed to play a large role in Android Q as well, so potentially playing multiple videos in bubbles will be a reality as well. Only time and creativity will tell. What are your thoughts on Android bubbles? Is there a reason they have been around for so long and haven’t grown? Or is it finally time that they hit the mainstream development market? Let us know in the comments below!