Android 2.2. Froyo Feature -- app switcher

We've heard people on other platforms complain that it's not easy to switch apps on Android. Apparently they weren't aware that all you have to do is hold down the Home button, and you get an app switcher. And it's gotten better in Android 2.2, with Froyo giving access to the eight most recent applications, doubling another third over what we've been used to. (That's four six, for you non-math majors.) Yeah, that's been available through various apps before, but now it's native, and it's a welcome change. 

(Thanks, Stephen! Find a cool new feature in Froyo and want to tell the world about it? E-mail us here and we'll make you famous!)

There are 19 comments

JakeHilltop says:

In 2.1 there actually was your 6 most recent apps.

several says:

The Motorola Droid manual is here:

The instructions for the app switcher are on page 5 under "Key Tips"

You find things you don't even know are there by the magic of RTFM.

serpico says:

Yup, I got 6 on my nexus one. Always nice to have more.

Kedar says:

This will be good for Palm Pre users.

We'll probably abuse this feature. When I open an app on the Pre, I just switch to the other app I was working on until I find the need to go the recently opened app.... if you know what I mean.

We'll probably abuse this feature like it wasn't supposed to be used, lol.

SharonW says:

Well Hells Bells, Eunice! I didn't know about the hold down the Home button either and I fanatically read this site amongst others as well as post in the forums. It's not like my Droid came with a users manual, it didn't. But even with online guides, how do you look for something you don't even know is available?

A BIG THANKS for the info. :)

houserhythm says:

Come on... you have to have pressed that home button a little longer than normal, at least by accident :)
And if not and you say you read so much about Android, I'm sure you noticed alot of talk about multitasking. When you read "multitasking" it's only natural to ask yourself "how do I switch between those multiple tasks?" and post the question somewhere, if you can't find an answer.

trooper54 says:

i bet the evo will come with a users manual =)

moosc says:

Yea I have six apps to choose from on Incredible.

ZeNiTH456 says:

"another third over what we've been used to. (That's four six, for you non-math majors.)"

Looks like you said there are 6 more screens ;)

I get what your saying, but it got pretty mixed up there.

What? Nobody's gonna ask me what my major was? :p (Grrrrr. Fixed.)

jcrus says:

Phil I just wanted to let you know I had a Monty Python flashback reading the article.


"" LOL

Blueman101 says:

*dismissive* Great! Terrific! NOW WHENS IT GONNA BE RELEASED!

several says:

[moved up to where it belonged]

vbsoulpole says:

This has been available on Sense with the 6 most recent apps forever. I've never understood why people think multitasking was so hard on Android

Channan says:

So is there any way to go back to the regular 6? I'd love to have 8, but it's not really needed and not if the UI for app switching is that ugly. I liked the 6 little icons in the nice looking box.

bcrook says:

CyanogenMod for Nexus and Dream/Sapphire can be configured to should 6,9,12,15 recent apps.

msliepka says:

WebOS owns the multitasking/app switching scene. Android's and iPhone OS 4's attempts at app switching are quite lame in comparison.

jedisrus says:

I wouldn't call them lame. Coming from a MacBook Pro i am used to the way android does it. I actually find it a tad bit easire than WebOS in one aspect. Let's say I have six apps open(and somehow didn't get Too Many Open Cards error). Now I am currently working in App #1 and want to work in App #6. With WebOS I need to swipe though 4 other apps before I get there. With Android 1 long hold of the home button and 1 tap on the app and I am there.

But they both handle multitasking well IMO. Not better, not worse, just different!

DenDiMarco says:

It's fun to see inter-phone dialog!

It's just a matter of getting used to the procedure. I'm sure one could argue whether one long press on the home button, a quick look for the appropriate icon, touching that icon takes more time than swiping through cards.

Actually before swiping through cards, you'd have to swipe the current app upward first to see the cards.

I was very used to WebOS, enjoyed it and appreciated its design. I trust the same will be true for android after I've spent some time with it.