Multitasking on mobiles is now common place, but let’s not forget how essential it was to the expansion of a certain fruit based OS’s. There was all the “Android has that” debate. Since it was launched, and both OS’s had similar means of doing it, it hasn’t really changed. One developer, Mohammad Adib on XDA, has decided to change that and has developed Switchr, which aims to change the way you swap apps on you Android device.
I’ve been running the Switchr Beta for the last week on my Galaxy Note 2 and I have to say, it’s amazing how fast you get used to it. Rather than press and hold the home button (or press the multitasking button on some devices), you swipe from the side of the screen. What appears, is all your open apps and the further you slide from the edge of the screen, the further into your history you go. When you’ve found the app you want, release the screen and you’re there.
I’ve found this to be a much quicker way of switching applications rather than using the stock engine for switching apps, as the stock version has to load previews of the apps, which can take time especially if they are big apps like games. You can choose to either have a live preview of your switching (which is handy if you’re just flipping back to read something you can’t cut and paste), or the icons only.
What I love about the app, is that so much of it is customisable in the settings from the height and position of the swiping area, what side you swipe from, the position on the edge of the screen and many more.
Another great feature of the app is that there are two distinct styles of switching apps. You can have a procession of the running apps icons flit by on the screen in a coverflow style (which will feel familiar to switching apps on desktops using [cmd]+[Tab} on Mac OS X or [alt} + [Tab] on Windows), or you can go for a different style, inspired by the way Windows 8 changes apps (bumping the app on the side of the screen to select a new app). The choice is yours.
I’m really excited about this app as it’s only in Beta, and is already very stable and impressive. It isn’t faultless however, as you will inevitably change apps by mistake at one point or another, but a simple swipe back and you’re where you started. I really look forward to seeing where this app goes in the future.
Make sure to keep an eye out for Switchr, as it is set to launch on the Play store on October 20th. If you can’t wait and want to try it now, head over to the developers XDA page to download the Beta. Check out the gallery below, and also the video at the bottom of the page.