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General recent apps/task switcher button

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by dirtyriffs, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. dirtyriffs

    dirtyriffs Member
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    Am I the only person that never uses this button and wishes it was used for a different action? I would rather it be a search button instead. Anybody elese?
     

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  2. jbdan

    jbdan Android Expert
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    I use it more than I ever thought I would, so much so, that I can't see doing without it. I never back out of apps anymore like I did with the Inc, I just hit "home". Multitasking has never been so beautiful than it is on ICS and the GN and imo is a huge draw!

    If you're rooted you can make all kinds of changes with the softkey layout/functions.
     
  3. Proph

    Proph Android Enthusiast
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    sorry i am on the other side of the fence, i use the hell out of that button. in my old android phones i never once used the search button so i am glad to see that go. maybe it is because i got used to this button in honeycomb but once you make it part of your routine it is really usefull.
     
  4. dirtyriffs

    dirtyriffs Member
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    Well coming from the Eris I backed out of every app. Plus I have all the apps theat I regularly use on my home screen. So I just tap the icon for the app. I guess its just something we are used to doing.

    I think when I do root the phone being able to change that button will be nice.


    BTW.. Why did this thread get moved? Isn' t this button on both versions of the phone?
     
  5. clb2196

    clb2196 Android Enthusiast
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    I've had the button my on Xoom then my Tab and I've been waiting to have it on my phone. :D I feel like I'm constantly multi-tasking and I lovelovelove having that button! It would be cool if you could customize which buttons you had, though, for those that dont use it. And I do miss the search button too.
     
  6. jbdan

    jbdan Android Expert
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    I can relate, I had an Eris too. Yup we get used to routines. Give the task switcher app a try and let Android do its things with background running apps. You'll be surprised at how much more efficient it is using it.

    And this isn't specific to VZ, I'm guessing since you're on VZ it was moved. It should be in the main forum imo
     
  7. binary visions

    binary visions Android Expert
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    The mods seem to be moving threads based on the device that the user has listed. You've got a VZW Nexus, so you get moved here.

    Frankly, I think it's a change in usage patterns. At first, I found it useless because, like you, I usually back out of apps and launch them again when I want them. Slowly, though, I'm starting to not back out of all apps, and I've found that switching between them is actually pretty useful.
     
  8. krouget

    krouget Android Enthusiast
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    I'm actually still on the fence about this button, myself. I first used it on my Xoom running Honeycomb, and at least there, it sort of made sense with the larger display.

    With ICS, on a smaller phone display, I'm not sure this is so much the case. I was fine with holding the home key to bring up the task switcher, and don't think the new dedicated task switcher button adds any utility over this. This is especially the case, given they've removed the more useful menu button (not fully removed, just reduced to an in-context minimal icon).

    I agree more with what someone else stated, in that they should give us the option to customize the software keys. Give me the additional option to bind functions to these (and even gestures), and I'd be in heaven.

    Edit: Has anyone noticed their task switcher lagging at times? I believe some are saying it does this as it fills with apps, so if so, it's probably another reason I'm not too fond of it.
     
  9. veccster

    veccster Android Enthusiast
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    I'm also on the fence. Didn't have it on my DInc but have it on my Xoom. I got used to backing out of apps on my phone and still do it. Maybe it'll grow on me.

    I ABSOLUTELY miss the dedicated search button. I would like to root just for that reason. I didn't need the search bar on every screen so I use GO Launcher but keep the search widget on my main screen.
     
  10. Mahalo

    Mahalo Android Enthusiast
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    That was my primary argument against the way the forums are currently segregated; I was afraid that this would happen. It makes skimming the forum to see if you can help almost impossible.


    On Topic: I see both sides on this. I use(d) the voice search a LOT... but I've also been suing the recent apps key a lot now as well. Being able to map out and add new keys is very helpful once rooted and adding custom launchers (but I haven't figured out how to add voice search to the dock yet.)
     
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  11. binary visions

    binary visions Android Expert
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    Thanks for that. I posted your comment in a thread I started in the "private chat with mods" section on this subject, just my own thoughts on it but yours mirror mine.
     
  12. sperho

    sperho Android Enthusiast
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    I wish they would have left the long press home for the same function and kept the search key.
     
  13. dirtyriffs

    dirtyriffs Member
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    Me too...
     
  14. crankerchick

    crankerchick Android Enthusiast
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    I use this button so much, but I'm also the person that occasionally long pressed on the home button in previous versions of android to switch between apps. I'm also used to backing out of apps, but some apps you have to back out so many times to get out of it. I'll catch myself backing out of an app like the market and then remind myself to just press the multitask button.

    I am much more used to using the button after having had a Xoom for the last 3 months. My take is, if you use it, you will probably ask yourself why you ever thought it wasn't necessary.

    Plus, it's so much faster to switch between apps this way. Going back to the home screen to go between apps is sooooo iOS! LOL

    I have taking to making sure I swipe away some apps from the list though, and just keep the ones I switch between the most in this list. This eliminates the lag for the pop-up list when first pressing the button.
     
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  15. Randino

    Randino Android Enthusiast
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    The best thing about the task switcher is that it takes you back in the app where you left it at. Whether that is a certain website or the middle of a game, the previous long press home task switcher didn't do this, it just took you back to the app not the app in progress
     
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  16. vonedaddy

    vonedaddy Member
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    Sorry to bring up this thread again, but I do not seem to use this button as a multi task button, I use it as a task killer.

    So I am wondering...

    Does closing these apps save your battery? My battery barely makes it through a work day. If the app is open maybe something like facebook, do it constantly update???
     
  17. crankerchick

    crankerchick Android Enthusiast
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    The multitask button is NOT a task killer. All you are doing when swiping an item away from the list is...swiping the item out of the list. It's not closing the app.

    Task killers are not necessary in Android and should be avoided. They can have the opposite effect intended too, if one uses it to automatically kill apps.

    If you have an app running rampant on your phone, the answer is to remove the app or adjust the sync settings of the app. If you have an app that is actually broken/not responding/poorly written, then use Android's built in task killer (Settings -> Apps) to force stop the app.

    Android does it's own memory management and app caching and killing. Let it do it's thing.
     
  18. john30308

    john30308 Well-Known Member
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    For some reason, it's much more natural to use the button on a tablet than a phone. I don't know why! ICS is a compromise Android to satisfy both tablets and phones. Maybe we'll get used to in on our phones over time, but I vote for the return of the search button, which I used all the time. I HATE stretching my thumb up to the top of the screen for the ever present search dialogue.
     
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