As our smart-devices are being more and more capable, we want to be able to make the most use out of them. There’s simply no better way to do just that than to become a multitasking pro. The newest versions of Android already make multitasking a fairly easy affair, but it also places a strong importance on simplicity, staying rather slim with the number of features.
However, as the operating system can be easily configured to use different software that can be found in the Play Store, there are a handful of multitasking apps available for you to dive right in.
MultiTasking Lite [No Longer Available] is a rather simple application for switching between running applications. It makes multitasking easier by offering quick access to the list by simply pressing the Home key twice. The list that appears is simply organized into a small window which doesn’t completely obscure the rest of the screen, along with individual X buttons to close an app, or buttons along the bottom of the window to go Home or end all applications.
If you’d like to close all running applications to free some memory and speed up your device in a quicker way, you can long press on the Home key.
If you’re looking for multitasking which visually looks like iOS, you may want to try MultiTask Manager [No Longer Available]. It offers a very convenient way to switch between apps via the same bar at the bottom of your screen. It not only includes a list of currently running apps, but also a few which were recently closed if you did so by accident. To open the bar, long press on your Home button, and then simply choose the app you’d like to switch to.
If you want to close an app, open the bar and then long press on the app in question. The app doesn’t do a whole lot, but I’d say that it fully mimics the functionality of the app bar in iOS. The only thing I wish it would have is customizability because it does have a bizarre background for the bar.
One of the more common issues with multitasking on Android is the fact that an app can remain running in the background, quickly pulling all of the power out of your battery. This is a bummer because in most cases the app isn’t going to do something while it’s in the background – while something like the DI.FM radio app would be an acceptable background app, Chrome probably isn’t. iOS manages multitasking a little differently, so that apps can be hibernated, preventing such a strain on your battery. An Android app by the name of Greenify tries to replicate this behavior.
Greenify helps control the states of all running apps, so that your foreground apps run just fine while the background apps are completely halted. It doesn’t do everything by itself – when you open Greenify for the first time, you can create a list of apps which should be hibernated whenever they are in the background. That way, it won’t confuse apps such as the DI.FM radio app as something which should be hibernated.
Unless you know exactly what you’re doing, it’s highly advised to stick with hibernating downloaded apps, and not system services such as your alarm clock. The only caveat to this app is that, as it makes some system-level changes to function correctly, you’ll need to have a rooted device along with the SuperSU app instead of SuperUser.
Finally, if you are using an Android tablet, you’ll want to take advantage of the multitasking promise that the larger screens offer. Therefore, there are a number of “hovering” apps which replicate the behaviors found on regular desktop operating systems, as if you’re working with a bunch of app windows. There aren’t any apps which can take any regular Android app and stuff it into a window, but there are a handful which themselves offer the window feature. Some of these include Floating Browser Flux, DicePlayer, hovernote, and AirCalc. There’s more than just these, but these can get you started on your way to great multitasking.
Because Android is relatively-speaking such a flexible operating system, there’s a lot which you can do with it in any aspect, including multitasking. While I am quite happy with the multitasking handling of stock Android, there are surely others who would like to have something different, or even take a little from iOS. In any case, these are good multitasking alternatives that should give you a better idea of what works well for you. Additionally, if you need other great Android apps, check out our Best Android Apps page!
What multitasking apps do you use on Android? What’s your ideal multitasking solution? Let us know in the comments!