Multitasking in Windows has come a long way since the one-app-at-a-time days of Windows 8. The app Groupy takes that journey even further by letting almost anything run in series of tabs.You can drag and drop documents and apps into groups of tabs, and still use keyboard shortcuts to jump between them.
The app is not yet widely available and is currently in a beta phase, but it should roll out to the public next month for $9.99. The beta is available to users of the Object Desktop (opens in new tab) software suite, which is currently on sale for $29.99.
Maximizing small screens
Many people use multiple monitors or an ultrawide screen to get more work space, but when you're on a laptop or using a smaller screen, multitasking isn't quite as smooth. Windows 10 has great snapping functionality, and the taskbar, but these aren't as elegant as grouped tabs.
Groupy allows you to have groups of tabs that you can separate by category. You can have one window with content you need for work and another for entertainment, for example.
Using Groupy doesn't replace any of Windows 10's features because you can still snap windows, use Alt+tab, and click on programs and apps on the taskbar. Clicking on the taskbar even switches which tab is open within a window.
The end result is a fluid experience that better utilizes smaller screens, though it could also be used with multiple monitors or giant screens to streamline your workflow.
Tabbed File Explorer
Groupy works with a variety of apps and programs but it brings a feature that fans have been screaming for to the File Explorer. Using Groupy, you can have multiple tabs of the File Explorer open and drag and drop files between them.
It works rather seamlessly, as you can click on a file, drag it to the tab on the top of the window, and place it into a new folder or area. There's no need to copy and paste, and using it makes it almost upsetting that Microsoft hasn't brought tabs to the File Explorer already.
Groupy is an almost perfect app
Groupy is an excellent program with few flaws. The only complaint I have is that to resize windows you have to click and drag from the edge or corner of the app you are using within the tab, rather than the edge of the window containing the tabs. This is a small gripe and might be a limitation of Windows 10 rather than a choice by the developers of Groupy.
Once you start using Groupy, it'll be hard to believe this feature wasn't available earlier. The drag-and-drop mechanics are easy to use and customizable and make multitasking much easier, especially on smaller screens.
The $9.99 price is not cheap, but believe Groupy comes at a fair price.
- Improves multitasking
- Feels like a native experience
- Allows you to use a tabbed File Explorer
- Resizing windows with tabs is a bit tricky
Learn more about Groupy on Stardock.com (opens in new tab)
See Object Desktop suite (opens in new tab)
Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com (opens in new tab).
And MS is working on something similar. https://twitter.com/h0x0d/status/933116000626622466?s=17
Is this a true universal app, meaning when I buy it on PC I get it on phone as well? This could be very interesting on phone for Continuum, so I'm keen to buy it.
It's not a universal app at all. There's no way a UWP app would be able to do this. Just your standard Win32 stuff.
You make a good point, but the article clearly talks about 'coming a long way since Windows 8' and the one or two apps split screen approach, which was only ever really a thing for modern touch apps from the store as that method of use never suited M/KB apps well. So I assume this thing can merge UWP apps, and I'm surprised it can do this without being UWP itself, so I'm starting to doubt. It's losing a lot of appeal for me if it can't handle UWP apps, and can't work on the form factors that would benefit most. Losing interest fast...
From the article and the screenshots, I'm gonna assume it can handle UWP apps as well (or the apps you download from Windows store), even though Groupy itself is not a UWP app. After all, it's a window management tool, it doesn't interfere with any other apps' code at all, just modifying the way they're presented on the interface. Also, the way UWP apps is displayed on desktop/tablet and mobile is vastly different. On desktop, the apps are presented inside a window frame, where on mobile, it's basically full screen (no window at all).
Clover is free, if all you want is a tabbed File Explorer.
I wish I could open multiple instances of the settings app.
i just installed it and LOVE IT! especially love that i can tab multiple word documents when i need to quickly switch between word docs! thanks for the article!
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