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How to dual-screen on the Galaxy Note 2

So I go back to the office to find that all of us in the room had a Note 2. Wow. I guess it was a phone that was on a lot of Christmas wish lists.

Thing is, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 does have quite a few features that most people won’t get at first.

“I don’t know what this tab is. It just showed up.”

Well, that tab happens to be the dual-window tab. Samsung calls it the multi window tab but, let’s face it, it does only two windows anyway (at least on the Note 2).

“How do you make it go away?”

All you have to do is long-press the phone’s Back button. Doing so either makes the tab appear or disappear. It can be quite a nuisance when it’s there, but you can slide it up or down so it won’t get too much in the way. Or just make it disappear altogether.

Of course, if you want to make use of the Note 2′s dual-window mode, then you’d want to have that tab appear first. Flick it out and this is what you’ll see:

This is actually a shortlist of the apps that support multi-windowing. Note that not all apps support this. Games, for instance, won’t do well in a window all its own.

To activate multi-windowing, all you have to do is select your apps and drag them to the main window. Drag a couple of them there and you get your dual windows going:

You can edit what apps show up on the multi-screen tab. Just click on the Edit button at the bottom and you get a few more selections. Add (or remove) apps from the tab as you wish:

The great thing about this multi-tasking feature? You can go to town with it and play two videos at the same time! Well, at least from two different video apps. No, it won’t allow you to run two instances of the same app (i.e. two YouTube videos). But run Video Player and YouTube at the same time and it plays dual videos without a hitch:

Granted, it may seem like a novelty more than a necessity. But I can imagine quite a few instances where dual-windowing can be a useful feature. For instance, if you’re trying to coordinate with friends via Messaging while finding your way to their location via Maps. Or playing a Video while waiting for something to happen on your browser.

Bottom line: it’s a fun feature to know that you can access when you need it.



Art is a long-time editor for a number of technology publications. He is a Palanca-winning writer (he got lucky) whose day job is to try to be as serious as possible while being a management consultant and lecturer. His favorite noodles: chapchae.

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