Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 is a fairly modest upgrade from the Galaxy S8/S8+ and deceased Note 7. While the dual-camera system is a nice addition to Samsung’s product lineup, the truly interesting tidbits for the Note 8 lie within its software. Thanks to a new app called “Split-Screen Creator”, you can now get one of the Galaxy Note 8’s most interesting features on any Android phone.
The feature we’re talking about is App Pair, and as Samsung announced back at the Note 8 event, this allows you to create one icon on your home screen or app drawer on the Note 8 for simultaneously opening two apps at once in split-screen with just a single tap. It’s a really great idea for being able to quickly jump into two apps that you often use at the same time, and thanks to developer Francisco Barroso, you can now get similar functionality on any Android device.
Francisco’s app is called Split-Screen Creator, and it essentially works just like App Pair does. After downloading the app and granting accessibility options to it, you’ll be able to then create a set of two apps to open at once by adding the “Create split-screen shortcut” widget (found under Split-Screen Creator) to your home screen.
Once this has been added, you’ll then be able to choose two apps or shortcuts to add to the new widget along with a label to name. Tapping the “Create” button after selecting the two apps you’d like to open will automatically add the new widget to your home screen, and tapping on it will then open up both apps at once.
Tapping on the widget briefly shows the recent apps page as if you were manually opening up both applications yourself, and it’s likely that Split-Screen Creator is simply automating these taps for you in order to make everything work. This results in a slightly jarring animation, but it’s still considerably faster to open two apps this way rather than doing it yourself.
Also, since Split-Screen Creator works as a third-party widget and isn’t baked into Android like App Pair is on the Note 8, you can only add your app pairings to your home screen and not directly within your app drawer.
Split-Screen Creator is free to download from the Google Play Store, and if you want to support Francisco’s development of it, you can pay for the Pro version for $0.99 and get custom shortcut icons, no ads, and the ability to try new features before they’re released to the free version.