Smartphones are becoming more powerful and more significant to the purpose that a number of the hard limits of the past do not apply today. Multi-tasking has become more critical as phones gain more RAM, and having quite one app open at an equivalent time may be a staple feature on tablets and, therefore, the new breed of foldable devices. Despite those changes, mobile apps are still limited to the old “one instance” or “one window” per app convention from the primary few years of smartphones. Google might be changing that with Chrome running on Android 12, allowing users to possess as many as five instances of the online browser.
Limiting what percentage instances or windows of an app is running at any given time made sense a couple of years back when phones were more straightforward and smaller. Lately, many users, even those with traditional “candy bar” phones, juggle multiple apps and accounts at a time, pushing manufacturers to support “dual app” features, though primarily for social media and messaging apps. As mobile devices get more sophisticated and browsing habits more complicated, the will to possess something similar for web browsers has also begun to gain traction.
It seems that Google will finally let that happen, a minimum of with Chrome, later this year. XDA spotted changes within the Chromium and Android ASCII text file that introduced a flag within the development version of the mobile browser that flips on this power-user feature. Once enabled, users will be ready to “move” a tab to a different window, creating a separate instance of Chrome.
This “multi-instance” feature would allow up to 5 Chrome windows to run simultaneously, whether side-by-side in split-screen mode or just within the background. In addition, each window can have as many tabs as you would like, and therefore the Android Recent Apps overview will show each window as a separate entry. In other words, this almost puts Chrome for Android on an equivalent level as its desktop version in terms of multi-tasking.
This upcoming Chrome on Android 12 feature fits perfectly into the growing trends within the smartphone market. Many OEMs are now supplementing their RAM with virtual storage, for instance. This also seems like a preparation for Google’s own foldable phone since opening a replacement Chrome window feels almost natural with such a bigger screen.