With Windows 10 comes a new way of snapping apps and programs side by side on Windows powered devices. With Aero Snap in Windows 7 and Side by side app multitasking in Windows 8 there have been a range of developments in snapping programs and apps. With Windows 10 we see a combination of features and layouts that have been successful from both Windows 7 and Windows 8. The Windows blog breaks down the updates. Here are the main points to take away.
Many of these changes are predicated on the fact that apps from the Windows Store can be opened within resizable windows in Windows 10. These different features and configurations work with any combination of programs and Windows Store apps running on the desktop.
Snap Assist: In Windows 7 you could easily snap a program to take up the right or left half of your screen by simply dragging it to the edge. This would automatically resize the window to half of your screen. In Windows 10 that hasn’t changed. What’s added is that when you snap an app to half of your screen, an easy set of windows with a similar layout to task view fills the other half of the screen. You simply click one of them and it fills the other half of your screen with it. This looks like a great feature for when you have multiple windows open and are looking to use two specific ones side by side.
Corner Snap: The concept of this isn’t that different than Snap Assist, it just extends that idea to also working with corners. Instead of just splitting your screen in half, you can split it into quarters. You can also have half of your screen filled with one window and the other half split between two windows. Microsoft has also added keyboard shortcuts for Corner Snap. By holding down the Windows key and pressing a two direction keys you snap a window to the corner. The example they give is hold Windows, then left, the up to snap a window to the upper left quadrant.
Snap Fill: This feature takes a play out of the Windows 8 book and auto fills any blank space between snapped apps. For example, in corner snap you may want the app or program taking up the upper right corner of the screen to be a bit smaller. When you make that window smaller and snap another one below it, the blank space is auto filled by the second window.
Multi-Monitor Improvements: Layouts with multiple monitors are becoming more common and for many desktop users are essential. From gaming to office productivity, the more “displ-acreage” you can have the better. In Windows 10 you’ll be able to have separate sets of snapped windows between displays. For example, you could have four windows open on one screen in quadrants and a screen split 50/50 on your second monitor. You can also snap windows on the shared edge of two monitors by clicking and dragging. Before this change you had to use keyboard shortcuts in that situation.
Continuum and Snap on Tablets and 2-in-1’s: Within Windows 10’s tablet mode you’ll see a fairly familiar layout for snapping things side by side. It looks almost identical to the current Windows 8.1 snapping configuration, which makes sense as Windows 8.1 is very tablet oriented. The feature the blog post highlights is that within Windows 10 when you click a link within an email or do a similar task, it will automatically snap the new window to half of the screen so you have the email and new window side by side. This already happens within many apps in Windows 8.1 and is a nice feature.
We already knew that Windows Store apps can be opened on the desktop within windows, but this blog post explains that you can snap desktop programs full screen in tablet mode. This makes tablet multitasking easier and limits the jarring jump back and forth between tablet and desktop mode.
Windows 10 has been described as a combination of the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. At least when it comes to snapping programs and apps, this appears to be the case. The flexibility it provides and ease of customization appear to be a comfortable and smooth layout for multitasking, gaming, and productivity.