Android 12L has been available as a beta for the past couple of months now. For those unaware, the Android flavor is designed for devices with large screens such as foldables, tablets, and ChromeOS devices. That said, phones are supported too. In a bid to tout the usability improvements of apps on large screen devices, Google has now shared some statistics regarding the usage of its Chrome browser.
Google says that in order to ensure feature parity in terms of multitasking and productivity between the desktop version of Chrome and that being used on large screen devices such as foldable and tablets, the development team has been experimenting with several capabilities.
To that end, the team leveraged from Android 12L features such as the taskbar as well as the Samsung edge panel to allow people to open and use multiple Chrome windows simultaneously. The idea was to ensure that users can multitask and that the capability is still usable within device constraints such as memory utilization. Testing revealed that people could comfortable use up to five Chrome instances side by side so the app was updated to support this use-case. The "New Window" shortcut was also more prominently displayed in the menu so users could spot it and use it to their advantage.
Google's results indicate that multi-window usage improved by 18x. This statistic is boosted by the fact that the company's previous research had shown that multi-instance for Chrome is already used 42% more on tablets and foldables as compared to phones. Google hopes that by sharing its learning and figures, it can encourage more developers to build features that are also optimized for large screen devices, especially when it comes to Android 12L.