One of the best feature that I love in Android is the ability to multi-task. Surfing the Web and remember that you need to send an email? Simply switch to the Email app, send your email and return to the browser to continue your surfing. Came across an excellent article in Google Reader and wanted to share with your friends? No problem! Switch to the TweetDeck app, post the link and switch back to Google Reader to continue reading. Here are 8 different ways that you can use to supercharge your multitasking experience in Android.
1. Using the HOME button to access recently used apps
Believe it or not, the easiest way to engage in multitasking is via the HOME button. You just have to press and hold your HOME button and it will bring up your recently used apps. Simply tap on the app to switch to it.
2. Using the BACK button to return to the previous app
After you have switched to one app to another to do a task (for example, switching from the browser to your email app), you can press the BACK button to quickly return to the previous app. In some occasion, you might need to tap several times to get back to the previous app, but it will still be faster than pressing the HOME button.
3. Creating shortcuts in your home screen
Other than the applications and widgets, you can also create custom shortcuts on your Home screen. These custom shortcuts are able to provide you with quick access to your frequently used apps. Most home replacement apps like LauncherPro, ADW Launcher, Go Launcher provide a way to create custom shortcuts to any application.
Alternatively, you can also make use of Any Cut (market link) to do the job.
QuickDesk is my personal favorite as it is highly customizable and allows me to quickly access my favorite apps with a quick tap. It comes with a blank canvas and you can place the apps you like on the canvas. At any point of time, you just have to double tap the HOME button to bring up the canvas, and you can easily switch to your favorite app.
5. Smart taskbar
There are times where you want to access apps that are not shown in the history. The most common (and inefficient) way is to go back to the home screen, open the app drawer, then launch the app you want. Smart Taskbar simplifies this process by allowing you to slide out the app drawer wherever you are.
After the installation, Smart Taskbar will add a translucent arrow to your screen. Wherever you are, you just have to tap on the arrow to reveal all your applications. You can then select the app you want to use.
6. SwipePad Beta
SwipePad cleverly makes use of the screen corners to activate your favorite app list. Place your finger at the bottom (left or right) edge of the screen and swipe it to the center. You will then see 12 slots where you can place your favorite apps for quick access.
When used together with Tasker – SwipePad add on, you can even get it to perform tasks (like turning on the WIFI) with a simple swipe.
7. Smart Bar
Not to be confused with Smart Taskbar, Smart Bar is one hell of a useful app. With it, you can dock important functions, like Application Manager, quick switch, recent apps, favorite apps, task manager, quick settings, search etc, on the notification bar so you can access to them with a swipe. In addition, you can also get it to kill all tasks if they are messing up your phone.
What other ways/apps do you use to improve your multitasking experience?
Image credit: viagallery.com
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