Add An OS X-Like Dock To Your Android Phone Screen With Dock4Droid

Angela Randall 22-04-2011

Does changing apps in Android bug you just a little? Do you find it just a teensy bit annoying to exit an application or jump back to the home screen in order to start a new application? Shouldn’t you be able to change between apps using a dock? Yeah, that’s what the makers of Dock4Droid thought too.


Dock4Droid is an easy way to add a dock similar to the Mac OS X dock to your Android phone. It’s easy to choose which apps feature in the dock and to customise where the dock is placed. Then you’re set to switch between applications using your dock instead of exiting each application in order to navigate to a new one. Easy!

Get Dock4Droid

Get your copy of Dock4Droid for free here. As well as the free trial version, there’s also a paid version of the application available for a tiny fee, which unlocks a few neat features such as colours and advanced features. The trial version also limits you to two dock items you can choose to lock. Other dock items will be chosen from recent applications you’ve used.

Setting Up The Dock

Open up the Dock4Droid application to access a menu of options. This allows you to choose whether to have your dock at the bottom or some other area of your screen. You can customise the response time, which apps you want to appear in the dock as well as many appearance options. Many of these options are unavailable in the free trial, but there’s still plenty of customisation available to the free application user.

android dock app

You may also wish to view a brief tutorial on how to use the dock, which is accessible at the top of this menu.

Add An OS X-Like Dock To Your Android Phone Screen With Dock4Droid dock4droid tutorial

Using The Dock

You’ll see a red line appear in your chosen section of the screen, indicating that the dock is available there. It will be red to start with if you chose the free application, since colour changes aren’t available to the free app users.

android dock app

Simply touch that area, swipe to the app you wish to use and release your finger while resting on that application. It’s a natural movement which is easy to get used to.

Dock4Droid Is Tiny

The Dock4Droid application is a tiny 84KB, which is a nice surprise for those of us with space issues on our Android phones.

Problems With Dock4Droid

Dock4Droid doesn’t yet support an auto-hide feature to get it out of the way of the stock keyboard when in use. The work-around is that you can change the settings to hide the dock when in landscape mode. Specifically, this means if you’re trying to use the keyboard then you only have to swing it into landscape mode to get rid of the Android dock app. Since many people do this habitually anyway, it’s a decent fix for the interim.

Other Dock Options

There are a few other options available to Android users looking for a dock or launcher application. Very few of them are available for free or even with a free trial.

More Android Hacks

If you like tweaking your Android to make it just right, you might like these articles:

How have you found Dock4Droid? How does it compare to other Android dock apps and launchers you’ve tried? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credit: ShutterStock

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  1. Josh Fox
    April 23, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    This looks like it would be really nice to have, but my tablet is natively landscape, so it wouldn't do much good to have it hide in landscape mode for me. Hopefully auto-hide is planned for a future release.

    • Angela Alcorn
      April 23, 2011 at 3:47 pm

      I believe it's in the works. Hopefully sooner rather than later!

  2. Angela Alcorn
    April 23, 2011 at 11:31 am

    You're welcome!