Last week we were a little bit blown away by one killer feature on the new Galaxy S3. Pop-up Play, which lets you keep a small, moveable video player running over the top of other apps, is seriously impressive, but as it turns out, it’s not the only player in the mobile multi-tasking game.
We’ve scoured the web and come back with six amazing apps that let you truly unlock the potential of your smartphone or tablet. Whether it’s split-screen browsing, free-hanging video apps or full-on desktop solutions, here are the apps you need to multi-task like never before…
Hang on, what’s this? A free-hanging video app that predates the Galaxy S3’s Pop-up Play feature? Stick It! is just that, an app that lets you watch your stored video content and YouTube videos (the latter’s a beta feature) in a resizable pane that sits over the top of any apps or your Android app.
It’s brilliantly clever stuff, and it offers some key advantages to Samsung’s version: YouTube support is one, but another is the option to run multiple videos at once (should you suffer from ADHD) and the ability to resize the screen to your liking. Read our interview with the app’s creator here.
Get it here: Stick It!
Want to bring real laptop-style multitasking to your device? You need OverSkreen. What is it? Think the Galaxy S3’s Pop-up Play feature mashed into a web browser, and you’re just about there. OverSkreen wants to end the hassle of tab switching, by letting you open multiple browser windows that you can resize and position yourself.
It works on phones, but tablets are where OverSkreen really flies. Just think: you could have one browser open with Facebook, another with Google Talk and a third with YouTube – all sized and placed perfectly to allow proper computing.
Get it here: OverSkreen
Quasar (Jailbreak needed)
We’re not condoning (or condemning) jailbreaking, but we will say this: there’s a pretty amazing tweak for the iPad available on the Cydia store if you do. Quasar completely frees your iPad apps, letting them run in unison for the first time in iOS’ history.
As with OverSkreen, Quasar give you the ability to open, position and resize multiple windows, but here it’s not limited to the web browser – literally any app can be opened up and used in a floating window, or made fullscreen at the touch of a button. It’s iOS like you’ve never seen before.
Get it here: Quasar
Those who don’t want to go down the jailbreaking route could do a lot worse than look into Tapose. It’s a mad, Courier-like approach to iPad use, which throws Apple’s rule book out of the window. At its heart, Tapose is an organisational tool. It’s a sort of tablet journal that lets you organise and create, but it does so in an interesting way.
Much of the app can be run in a split-screen diary format, with one side used for browsing, mapping, or accessing cloud files, while the other is used to sketch, draw, annotate or collaborate.
Get it here: Tapose
Apollo is a pretty tooled-up browser for the iPad (and iPhone). As well as syncing with Google Chrome, proffering a brilliant download file manager and blocking unsightly ads, it also has one killer feature that warrants its place in this list by itself.
Apollo’s got Facebook chat built in. That means that you can get on with your web browsing while keeping tabs on your chats. Literally. You contacts and current conversations appear as discreet tabs on the bottom of the page, which expand to allow you to talk as and when.
Get it here: Apollo
Ok, so this might be cheating a bit, but there’s no denying that Splashtop does bring unprecedented multitasking abilities to your phone or tablet. Providing you’ve got a decent web connection on both ends, Splashtop lets you beam your Mac or Windows PC’s display onto your device.
There are some handy touch-based controls built in to make things slightly easier to navigate, but make no mistake: this is your computer thrust into your mobile device, so there can be difficulties. Get around them, though, and you’ll have as much processing grunt as your home machine wedged into a pocketable device. Use that power wisely, yeah?