Future versions of Chrome OS won’t pause Android apps when switching windows

how to copy and paste on a Chromebook
A post on Reddit reveals that the beta release of Chrome OS 64 provides true Android app multitasking using a new toggle labeled Android Parallel Tasks. To access this toggle, make sure Chrome OS is in developer mode, navigate to the Android settings, and scroll down to the bottom to toggle on the multitasking feature.

Typically, on Android phones and tablets, you see multiple apps on a list after touching the virtual Overview button. Technically, these apps are open but they remain in a paused state save for the current app displayed on the screen. That’s due to the physical size of the screen and to conserve battery power.

But with Chromebooks, the screen and batter are larger, thus pausing Android apps isn’t necessary. With Android Parallel Tasks toggled on, you can move from Android-based window to window, and each app will remain active even though they’re not your main focus. Given Windows, MacOS, and Linux provide the same multitasking experience, adding Android Parallel Tasks to Chrome OS makes perfect sense.

For example, on Android phones, if you were to have Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and a handful of other apps open, they will all pause, save for the app you currently have displayed on the screen. On a Chromebook with Chrome OS Beta 64, those same apps can appear on the screen un-paused no matter which app you are currently using. To close them, simply click on the “X” like you would on a Windows, MacOS, or Linux PC.

“I did notice that once enabled, it will cause some loading issues with the Play Store and a few other apps,” the post states. “Those will take longer to load — but they will load eventually. The toggle does, however, work as intended. V64 Beta is currently very buggy on my Pixelbook (crashes a lot with other random issues), so i would not recommend using it as a daily driver.”

In the overall epic story of Chrome OS, the Google Play Store and its suitcase of Android apps is rather new to the scene. Chrome OS was originally designed to be a lightweight, open-source operating system that relied on web-based apps. But the platform officially opened its arms to Google Play in May 2016, enabling Chromebook owners to download and install Android apps. Google followed up with Split View so that device owners could have two active Android apps running as long as they consumed one half of the screen.

Even though Android and Chrome OS are two different operating systems, the downloaded apps aren’t running on your typical CPU-hogging emulator. Instead, Chrome OS now includes technology that creates an isolated environment so that Android apps can run at “near-native” speeds. The Google Play apps are downloaded to Chromebooks along with instructions on how they should run at an optimal level.

Given support for Google Play is still relatively new, there are still a few kinks to work out. But Google’s list of Chromebooks supporting the Play Store continues to grow at a steady rate.

Computing

The number pad on HP’s Chromebook 15 makes spreadsheet work a breeze

HP's Chromebook 15 comes with a 15.6-inch display, a metal keyboard deck with full-size keys, and a dedicated number pad, making it the second Chromebook model, following Acer's Chromebook 715, to be suited for spreadsheet work.
Mobile

The OnePlus 3 & 3T both receive an open beta for Android Pie

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Computing

MacOS update may include external display support for iPads

Apple's upcoming MacOS is rumored to include a new native external display support feature. Code-named "Sidecar" the new feature is expected to allow MacOS computers to send app windows to external displays like iPads.
Computing

Chromebooks are laptops, but they do things a little differently

Chromebooks are an intriguing branch of laptops that are often cheaper and faster than their Windows counterparts, but they are a little more limited. Intrigued? Here's everything you need to know about Chromebooks.
Computing

Mueller report releases on CD, forces Congress to find PCs with disc drives

The Mueller report was released this week to Congress via CDs and congressional members had to find PCs with working disc drives to access the 400-page document. The redacted report was also released to the public on a website.
Gaming

Kick off your streaming career with our complete guide to Twitch broadcasting

Streaming games on Twitch for the first time can be daunting to say the least, but with a few simple steps, it's remarkably easy to do. Here's how to do so using a PC, Mac, Xbox One, or PlayStation 4 console.
Computing

Google Chrome will get a Reader Mode for distraction-free desktop browsing

If Google's testing of Reader Mode on the Chrome Canary desktop browser is successful, soon all Chrome users will gain access to this feature. Reader Mode strips away irrelevant content on a webpage for distraction-free browsing.
Computing

Former student uses USB Killer device to fry $58,000 worth of college’s PCs

A former student used a USB Killer device to short circuit more than $58,000 of computers at a private New York college earlier this year. The student pled guilty to the charges and sentencing is scheduled to begin in August.
Computing

AMD Ryzen CPU prices get slashed ahead of Ryzen 3000 release

AMD's Ryzen CPUs have had their prices slashed as we edge towards the release of their third generation. Whether you're a gamer or someone who needs multi-threaded performance, there's a deal for everyone with some heavy discounts to take…
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Computing

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.
Computing

Here's how you can download the best free music players for your Mac

Tired of your Mac's default music player? Take a look at our picks for the best free music players available for your Apple rig. Whether you're a casual listener or an audiophile, you're sure to find something that fits your needs here.
Computing

Want to make calls across the internet for less? Try these great VOIP services

Voice over IP services are getting more and more popular, but there are still a few that stand above the pack. In this guide, we'll give you a few options for the best VOIP services for home and business users.
Gaming

Transform into the ultimate leader with our tips and tricks for Civilization 6

Civilization VI offers both series veterans and total newcomers a lot to chew on from the get-go. Here are some essential starting tips to help you master the game's many intricacies.