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Returning to apps which have opened other apps

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by CSMR, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. CSMR

    CSMR Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I find that Android gets confused when returning to an app which has opened another app. It gets confused about which app is which.

    E.g. Open video file from file explorer. This opens the file in a video app. Go and do other stuff, then run file explorer and it opens the video app instead.

    E.g. Select a youtube link in Chrome. That takes you to a youtube app. Select chrome from the app selector and it takes you to the youtube app not chrome.

    This seems like a malfunction to me, maybe a deliberate one. Any way around it?
     



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  2. Rukbat

    Rukbat Extreme Android User

    Must be something in your phone. Using ES File Explorer for the first and Chrome for the second, I didn't have that problem.
     
  3. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)

    Think its always done that for me.
    I just hit "back" and it backs out into the original app.
    Eg, hit a play store link on the AF app, select play, do something else, return to AF and it will still be in Play until i back out of it :thumbup:
     
  4. John Bean

    John Bean Happy Wanderer

    Absolutely. If an app spawns another as a "helper" the system behaves exactly as though the "helper" was part of the originating app, so if both are still open (but in the background) then tapping on the first app will restore it to its last known state - which in this case will be the "helper" app.

    Pressing "back" always exits a "helper" app if that's what you want to do, but the default behaviour is far from being a malfunction; I'd be very annoyed if I interrupted my video to check an email and didn't get my video back when I returned to it. I use Media house as a front end for all media no matter where or what they are and don't even keep shortcuts to the actual video (or audio) player that it uses for some particular format or location, I simply return to where I was in my front end app.
     
    mikedt and funkylogik like this.
  5. UncleMike

    UncleMike Android Expert

    I understand wanting to maintain your place in a helper app, but I find it annoying to tap on the main app in the list of recent apps, and be dumped into the helper app. What I find even more annoying though is when a main app opens a helper app that was already open and doing something else, then when I press 'back' it doesn't return to the main app, it returns to the "something else".
     
  6. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)

    What behaviour would you prefer instead mate?
     
  7. davoid

    davoid Android Expert

    The ideal would be to have the main app and the helper app listed separately in Recent Apps, with tapping on the main app taking you to where you were before the helper app was opened. That way, if I use a file explorer to open a movie file (say in MX player), I can go to my home screen, do other stuff, then go back to my file explorer and do some more browsing/file management, while retaining the paused movie in mx player. However, the way it is, when I return to ES Explorer I am confronted with mx player and I cannot use ES explorer UNLESS I back out of the movie. But I don't want to back out of the movie. I want it to be there, paused, ready to return to, AND be able to use my file explorer.

    If it were possible to use the main app without backing out of the helper app, it would be fine if backing out of the helper app (say a movie) took you to its previous state (say another movie). This would in fact be the preferred behaviour, because you wouldn't have to back out of the movie to use the main app. You could use it separately by selecting from Recent Apps.
     
    funkylogik likes this.
  8. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)

    ^ yeah that would be perfect mate! :beer:
     
    davoid likes this.
  9. John Bean

    John Bean Happy Wanderer

    Very often the use of a helper app is modal - in other words the main app waits for the helper app to finish before it is able to continue interactively.

    As it stands I don't think it's possible to accommodate both modal and non-modal behaviours separately, and returning to an app that has a modal helper app open would make it seem that the app had crashed since it would be completely non-responsive.

    This sort of thing doesn't matter in a true windowed GUI where it can be made obvious that a particular window is waiting for a modal child window to close, but in a single switched window this would be confusing, giving the impression that the device was malfunctioning.

    The way it works now will never please everyone but it is at least a sane and predictable approach in the vast majority of cases.
     
    funkylogik likes this.
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