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

Cloudflare’s privacy-enhancing 1.1.1.1 DNS service comes to iOS and Android

Cloudflare's 1.1.1.1 DNS resolver service has been ported to mobile devices, and now anyone with an Android or iOS device can download it for free to take advantage of its speed and privacy-boosting features.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
Wearables

Check out 25 of the best Wear OS apps for your smartwatch

Looking for some ways to spruce up that new Android smartwatch of yours? Here are the best Wear OS apps to download and use with any Android smartwatch, including a few specially enhanced for Wear OS 2.0.
Mobile

Keep on clicking with the 10 best browsers for Android

Browsing the web on an Android device should not be a pain. Check out our picks for the best browsers for Android, so you can surf the web with greater ease and access a trove of unique features.
Emerging Tech

Intel’s new ‘neural network on a stick’ aims to unchain A.I. from the internet

To kick off its first developer conference in Beijing, Intel unveiled the second generation of its Neural Compute Stick -- a device that promises to democratize the development of computer vision A.I. applications.
Computing

Convert your PDFs into convenient Word documents

PDF files are great, but few document types are as malleable as those specific to Microsoft Word. Here's how to convert a PDF file into a Word document, whether you prefer to use Adobe's software suite or a freemium alternative.
Product Review

If the Surface Studio 2 can't win over Mac fans, nothing can

Most creative professionals are staunchly planted in the Apple camp, but with the Surface Studio 2, Microsoft is making a serious attempt to win them over. Despite its niche appeal, you’ll wish you had a few grand to drop on this beauty.
Computing

These laptop makers produce the most reliable, quality hardware today

If you want to buy your next laptop based around a specific brand, it helps to know which the best brands of laptops are. This list will give you a good grounding in the most reliable, quality laptop manufacturers today.
Deals

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Deals

Here are the best laptop deals for November 2018

Whether you've started a new school year, are shopping for a student, or you just need a new computer, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Computing

Recover your beloved data with these great software tools

The best data recovery software isn't always free, but whether you've lost files on a hard drive, SD card, or even physical media like CDs and DVDs, there's a chance they'll be able to get that data back.
Computing

If the speed of AMD’s Radeon RX 590 doesn’t entice you, the game bundle will

AMD's Radeon RX 590 is a new video card that targets 1080p gaming at maximum detail. Starting at $280, it fills a gap between the Radeon RX 580 and the more expensive Radeon RX Vega. AMD says the new RX 590 can beat Nvidia's GTX 1060 Ti.
Computing

Microsoft Surface Studio 2: Everything you need to know

Microsoft's Surface Studio 2 comes with a new CPU, new graphics card, and a brighter display -- but is all of that worth the higher cost? Here's everything you need to know about the Surface Studio 2.
Computing

Want to use one drive between a Mac and Windows PC? Partitions are your best bet

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.