Split Screen is a new feature introduced in the 11th Gen of Fire HD 10 (2021) and Fire HD 10 Plus. It allows you to use two apps side by side concurrently.
This Fire tablet guide explains what Split Screen on Fire HD 10 (2021) and Fire HD 10 Plus (2021) is, how to launch apps in the Split Screen mode, and how to manage and resize screen size for Split Screen on Fire HD 10 (2021) and Fire HD 10 Plus (2021).
Please note, although 9th Gen Fire HD 10 (2019), 10th Gen Fire HD 8 (2020), and Fire HD 8 Plus (2021) are also on Fire OS 7.3, the split-screen feature currently is exclusive for the 11th Gen of Fire HD 10 (2021) and Fire HD 10 Plus (2021).
It is unclear whether Amazon will port back this feature to these older devices. This feature is now available on all Fire HD devices (8″ and 10″) with Fire OS 7 or Fire OS 8.
Fire 7 2022 (12th Gen), Fire HD 8 2022 (12th Gen), Fire HD 10 2023 (13th Gen), and Fire Max 11 are all shipped with Fire OS 8. But the split-screen is supported on Fire HD 8 2022 and Fire Max 11, and is NOT supported on Fire 7 2022.
What is Split Screen on Fire HD 10 (2021) and Fire HD Plus (2021)?
On Android, the split-screen feature was introduced in Android Nougat (7.0). Fire OS 6 is derived from Android 7.1. But Amazon did not implement it, possibly due to the low memory configurations on previous Fire HD tablets.
Now, Fire HD 10 (2021) and Fire HD 10 Plus (2021) have 3GB and 4GB RAM, respectively. So, Amazon finally added this multi-window feature. This feature was later ported to all Fire tablets (except Fire 7) with Fire OS 8.
In a nutshell, the Split Screen on Fire HD 10(2021) and Fire HD 10 Plus allow you to use two apps side-by-side concurrently.
For example, you can browse the website and open a note-taking app at the same time. In this way, you can quickly copy contents from the browser app to the note-taking app. Of course, there are many different combinations depending on your needs.
By default, each app occupies half of the screen in the split-screen view mode. You can adjust the size for the two apps. If one app occupies 40% of the screen, the other app will use the rest 60%.
Please note, the minimum size of an app is about 1/3 of the screen in the Split Screen mode. If you try to set the size of an app to less than 35%, it will automatically set it at about 1/3 of the screen.
How to open apps in the Split Screen mode on Fire HD 10 (2021) and Fire HD Plus (2021)?
By default, when you open an app on a Fire HD tablet, the app will occupy the whole screen. This is a “universal” feature of most mobile devices.
To open apps in the Split Screen mode on Fire HD 10 (2021) or Fire HD 10 Plus (2021), you may follow these steps.
On Fire HD 10 (2021) and Fire HD 10 Plus (2021), you can only initiate the multiwindow mode through the task-switching button, which is on the right of the Home button in the navigation bar, as shown in the screenshot below.
In other Android phones and tablets, this button is usually called the Recents button or Overview button.
Once you tap the task-switching button, you will be on a special page/screen with a list of recently opened apps, as shown in the screenshot below. This screen is usually called the Recents screen or Overview screen.
On the Recents screen, you can use the following gestures:
- Swipe to the left or right to switch different thumbnails.
- Swipe up to remove the app from the screen.
- Tap the thumbnail to open it.
Of course, in this guide, we will learn to open the app in the special split-screen mode. So, we need to explore the Recents screen a bit deeper.
Step 2: Open the first app in the Split Screen mode
On the top of each thumbnail, you can find the icon of the app with a down arrow (marked as A), as shown in the screenshot above.
Tap the icon to expand it. You now can see the option for Split Screen, in addition to App info, as shown in the screenshot below.
As you may already know, you can tap App info to check the details of the app and manage the app in the Application Manager.
If you tap the Split Screen option, the app will now be re-opened in split-screen mode.
For example, we open the Chrome browser app in this way. As shown in the screenshot below, you should notice the app only occupies half of the screen on the left side.
At the same time, the shape of the task-switching (Recents) button changes the shape from a square to two lines. The new button shape indicates the tablet is now in the multiwindow (split-screen) mode.
If you are using the Bluetooth keyboard case in the Productivity bundle, you can use Fn + S key to change the currently opened app from the normal mode to the split-screen mode (as the 1st app) instantly. And you do not need to use the Recents screen to open the first app. The official Fire Max 11 keyboard case also support the Fn +S shortcut.
You may check this guide on how to use the special keys and shortcuts on the official wireless keyboard for Amazon Fire HD 10 2021 (and Fire HD 10 Plus).
Please note, the first app always occupies the left (in landscape orientation) or top (in portrait orientation) of the screen. Fire HD 10 and Fire HD 10 Plus do not allow you to switch the app slots.
Step 3: Add the 2nd app.
By default, the second half of the screen now shows the Recents screen after you open the first app in split-screen mode.
You can swipe left or right to navigate through all recently opened apps, then tap on the chosen one to open it as the second app to fill the second half of the screen.
For example, we choose the Google Play Store app as the 2nd app. As shown in the screenshot below, the Google Play store app resizes itself to fit into the right half of the screen.
If the 2nd app you want to use side-by-side with the first app is not on the Recents screen (e.g., it was not previously opened, or you removed it from the Recents screen), you can choose it from the Home screen by using the home button (read on)
How to resize screen size for Split Screen on Fire HD 10 (2021) and Fire HD Plus (2021)?
When two apps are opened side-by-side in the multiwindow mode, there is a handlebar separating two apps, as highlighted in the screenshot above.
You can drag it left or right (in landscape orientation) to resize the screen size for the two apps. For example, the resized app pair is shown in the screenshot below.
Like in stock Android, the minimum size of screen size for any app is about 1/3 of the screen. If you attempt to resize one app below 30%, the minimum size will be used automatically.
If you drag the handle too close (less than about 10%) to the edge, the app will be closed. The other app will take over the whole screen. At the same time, the tablet exits the Split Screen mode.
How to exit the Split Screen mode on Fire HD 10 (2021) and Fire HD Plus (2021)?
Once Fire HD 10 (2021) or Fire HD 10 Plus is in Split Screen mode (you can tell it from the shape of the task-switching/Recents button, as mentioned above), the Home button will NOT bring you back to the Home screen.
The Back button also works independently for each app. You can tap the corresponding app screen to make it “in focus.”
You have two ways to exit the Split Screen mode on Fire HD 10 (2021) and Fire HD Plus (2021).
Most apps can be closed if you keep tapping the Back button.
In the Split Screen mode, if you close the 1st app, the 2nd app will take over the whole screen. Simultaneously, the tablet exits the Split Screen mode.
This method works only for the 1st app. If you close the 2nd app in this way, Fire HD 10 and Fire HD 10 Plus will still in the split-screen mode. It will ask you to choose an app from the Home screen.
Method 2: Drag the handle to the edge of the screen to close one of the apps.
As discussed earlier, you can drag the handle between two apps to the edge of the screen to close one of the apps.
Once one of the apps is closed, the other app will occupy the whole screen. The tablet also exits the Split Screen mode.
This method does not differentiate between the 1st and 2nd apps.
How to choose the 2nd app for the split-screen mode from the Home screen, instead of from the Recents screen?
Occasionally, you may want to open the second app that is not on the Recents screen. Or you may want to open a book or a video directly from the library.
To choose the 2nd app from the Home screen, you just need to tap the Home button when the Recents screen is shown on the second half of the screen.
As shown in the screenshot below, you can choose any apps, or any library items, as the second app.
The Recents button changes from a square to 2 vertical (or horizontal in the portrait orientation) lines once Fire HD 10 (2021) or Fire HD Plus (2021) are in the split-screen mode.
Some users may call the new button as Split-Screen button.
You can use the split-screen button to change the 2nd app.
- If you tap the button once, it will switch between the Recents screen and the last 2 used apps for the 2ndf half of the screen.
- If you tap the button twice quickly, it will cycle the last two used apps as the 2nd app.
What happens if an app does not support the Split Screen mode?
Most apps support the split-screen view mode. But there are a few apps that do not. This is decided by the app developer.
You cannot add this app as the 1st app because there is no split-screen option on the Recents screen for these apps.
If you attempt to add such apps as the 2nd app, this app will take over the screen, and the tablet exits the split-screen mode immediately.
Do you have any questions on Split Screen on Fire HD 10 (2021) and Fire HD Plus (2021)?
If you have any questions about using the split-screen on Fire HD 10 (2021) and Fire HD Plus (2021), please let us know in the comment box below.
Detailed information on how to use Google Play Store on Fire tablets can be found here.
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