Looks like there’s more tricks Android M has up its sleeve. A user on Youtube by the name of Tim Schofield, has uploaded a video showcasing some of the changes and improvements that Google implemented on their newest Android operating system (OS), including the split keyboard and multi-window mode functions.
The current Android keyboard does not have such features, until Android M was announced to the public in Google I/O 2015.
The split keyboard function enables users to split the on-screen keyboard into half, thus shorting the distance between both thumbs to reach the keys, and allowing a much easier typing experience. However, according to Phone Arena, this setting is only available on Android tablet devices that’s compatible for the Android M developer preview app (e.g Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9).
You can download the latest version of Google Keyboard App (version 4.0.23004) now. If you have a Nexus device, you can turn on the split view by going to Settings > Language and Input >Google Keyboard Settings > Advanced > Appearance and layouts > Split Keyboard.
Currently the feature only allows QWERTY keyboard layout to be split, but hopefully more options are available when the Alpha version of Android M arrives in the coming months.
Besides split keyboard, Google also introduced a new native mode called the multi-window mode, where users can open more than one applications at the same time. Unfortunately this function can only be use when accessing under developer mode.
However, these feature are not new to the public. Apple has already introduced the split keyboard function in their iOS, and several Android third-party keyboard developer also has the same feature. Nonetheless, Google’s effort in making these as a native Android features is widely regarded as a positive step towards the right direction.
Check out Tim Schofield’s video presentation below: