Recent apps gets a few new tricks and tweaks [Diving into Android N]

by: Andrew GrushMarch 9, 2016
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Android N app switcher AA

Android N is bringing a number of aesthetic changes to notifications, settings, and even quick settings. It’s also bringing a few tweaks to the recent apps menu as well. While the biggest and most obvious change is the new split-window mode, the recent apps key also is introducing a new “quick switching” mode. Simply put, if you double tap the recent apps button, you’ll quickly switch between your current and previous app. If you keep tapping the button, you’ll also cycle through the rest of your open apps. Once you stop cycling it will have a countdown, and once that ends, the app you’re currently on will resume as full-screen.

Note: Be sure to check out our Diving Into Android N series for more coverage!

You might also have noticed that the cards themselves have been enlarged. These larger cards really don’t make much of a difference functionality wise, but they arguably look better than before. Of course their larger size might also making scrolling through them a slight bit harder.

recent-apps

Because screenshots just don’t convey these app switching features all that well, at the top we’ve included a video that better shows off how all this works. I also very briefly took a look at the split screen mode above, as you’ll see above. What do you think of this new multi-tasking features? Let us know what you think in the comments.

  • Whoa, this looks extremely useful. Especially in those situations in which you’re watching a long YouTube video as you get spammed with message notifications that you just don’t wanna reply for the extra effort of pausing and switching the app.
    I just wonder what is it with Google and the fact that they just don’t like the “clear all” button. I mean, most Android skins already have it and it feels obligatory.

    • Reed

      Batch killing apps in Android is actually bad for performance when RAM management is implemented correctly. You actually want to be using most of your RAM. Google doesn’t support it because technically, force closing all of your apps is “bad” for your phone. Google “Why task managers are bad for Android” for a more in depth explanation.

      • Whoa, thanks for the heads-up. I had no idea. But this is still beyond me, noticing how much my phone’s performance improves after I close all of my open apps. Or are you talking about the specific act of closing them all at once? Anyway, I wish Google would make your statement clear for the masses, though, because the lack of the “clear all” button on stock Android is still making everyone angry.

  • Jonathon Hoffman

    Looks like the new app switcher in Touchwiz Marshmallow. Maybe a sign that Google gave Android N developer to Samsung super early and that they will have it out along side the stock N release?

    • Reed

      Wishful thinking

  • subm

    AA Team should switch on the ‘finger tracking’

    • TrueWords

      You mean ‘show touches’ in developer options.

      • subm

        yeah

  • Tim R.

    the non existing animations is looks so ugly…

  • Thank you so much (and sorry for the late reply, I didn’t see the notification).
    I’ll probably tell this to a shitload of people I know and help save their phones’ lives because of this.