Android N brings a bunch of new ways to switch apps

Android N brings a bunch of new ways to switch apps
There are a lot of changes in Android N and most of the coverage will be about the big things like the new split-screen view and improvements to Doze, but there are also a number of smaller changes that will probably make things much easier for everyday use. One of those smaller changes that could be huge in general use are the new features in switching apps.

The main change is a new double-tap option on the square navigation button (aka the multitasking button, the recents button, or the overview button). For the most part, double-tapping that button will bring you to the last app that was open. In practice, this means that if you're in an app, double-tapping will switch to the previous app, so you can switch back-and-forth. And, if you're on the homescreen, double-tapping will reopen the last app (as you can see below). 

Additionally, if you tap the recents button to bring up the scroll of apps, you can keep tapping to scroll through one-by-one, and when you stop, it'll pop into that selected app. Lastly, you can use the square button to get in and out of the new split-screen mode. Long-pressing the button when in an app will switch you into the split-screen mode, and if you're already in split-screen, long-pressing will bring you back to full screen. 


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30 Comments

1. KeyserSoze

Posts: 387; Member since: Oct 06, 2014

Nice, now please add a "Close All Apps" button.

8. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Good reason to go with a custom ROM or try Xposed.

10. rsiders

Posts: 1954; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

You're phone doesn't have that? My V10 has had close all apps from day one and it doesn't even have Marshmallow yet.

11. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

That's an OEM skin. Many times OEM skins add more features than what is on stock.

12. nodes

Posts: 1159; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

we are talking about pure Android here. of course it's already in almost OEM skin.

19. vijay.alapati

Posts: 181; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

they will, only when iOS does it :p

22. Unordinary unregistered

simmer down buddy

25. mrochester

Posts: 997; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

No need to close all apps. You can just let the system do this all for you.

2. bistech

Posts: 59; Member since: Jul 23, 2015

Another copy from ios

5. baldilocks

Posts: 1505; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

Not even close.

9. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Nope, as Apple was a copy of Samsung, and un-like Apple, this works with most apps, hm, how many apps does it work with Apple, not many

14. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Samsung copies Apple. Don't live in denial.

16. Podrick

Posts: 1285; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

And Apple copies Samsung too. Everyone copies, without copying its impossible to make a phone or OS or anything out there.

27. itsjustJOH

Posts: 232; Member since: Oct 18, 2012

No one can't pass school without copying.

18. adityabnrj

Posts: 20; Member since: Nov 16, 2015

They both copy from each other.. Guess you were living in denial

20. justrt

Posts: 446; Member since: Jul 10, 2014

Nah. None of them copies. They just have similar ideas ;)

3. monoke

Posts: 1161; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Awesome. More usability features is always welcomed. Maybe eventually incorporate gestures and completely remove the need for buttons would be my dream.

6. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

This show they are using the recent button to toggle between apps. Buttons is still important as human are lazy doing a gesture take more effort and both hands.

4. abdoualgeria

Posts: 928; Member since: Jul 27, 2015

And u can now set u'r own 'dpi' in android N ..... Slowly but surely they're whittling down the list of reasons to root.

28. TMHKR

Posts: 202; Member since: Dec 08, 2012

The only reason I rooted my device was to restore SD card write permission, so I can transfer files directly to the card via Wi-Fi. I doubt they changed that in Android N.

7. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

I currently use a similar gesture on my OnePlus One (double tap home button) to quickly switch to previous app like shown at the start, but damn, Android N really improves on that a whole lot. Can't wait for the Cyanogen 14 Build.

13. Awalker

Posts: 1977; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

Long pressing the back button to kill an app - make it happen Google.

15. nodes

Posts: 1159; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

is it such a big deal to close app traditional way like that? i never close apps, smartphone SHOULD smart enough to manage those things. even in iOS 'Exit' menu/button is not allowed.

17. Awalker

Posts: 1977; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

It's just a faster way to kill an app. Sometimes I want to use an app and immediately close it out when I'm done so it's not running in the background. Frankly, I don't care what iOS does because I don't use iOS devices.

21. Norris

Posts: 121; Member since: Jun 26, 2015

I guess its already present in Lollipop.Go to settings>developer options> Enable Kill app back button(scroll to the last). I'm not sure it's present in stock or not but I have it in CM 12.1

24. shahrooz

Posts: 792; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

I'm using this and double tap recent for previous app since I rooted my nexus 5 installed xposed and gravity box

23. Unordinary unregistered

Loving my app switching feature on my 6S+. For those who don't know: When inside of an app, force touch and slide from the edge and drag half way across the screen to seamlessly switch to your previous app. You can spam this if you'd like. If you wish to bring up the entire app switcher without touching the home button, just force touch the edge of the screen and drag all the way across the screen swiftly

26. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

I have the same feature on my 4S running 6.1.3 :P

29. Unordinary unregistered

Good ol Jailbreak :)

30. oozz009

Posts: 520; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

Nice!! But sadly, despite android N being announced in 2016, it will most likely be released on major flagships by 2017:D

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