Canonical released Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview for a select few Nexus devices earlier this week, allowing many interested users like me to get a feel of this Linux-based operating system on our smartphones and tablets. Like most facets of the OS, its interactive vertical app switch list is quite commendable, since it allows you to quickly launch any app from anywhere in the OS with minimum effort. This convenience and easy of use seems to have inspired many Android developers to incorporate similar multitasking solution within their own offerings such as like Unity Launcher and Glovebox, and the latest entrant in this list is Sidebar by XDA sebuir member Mohammad_Adib – the same guy who introduced us to the previously reviewed Floating Stickies. Like most similar solutions we’ve already seen, Sidebar offers plenty of customizations to personalize the sidebar. However, the main advantage of this app is the ability to pin system toggles to the sidebar as well, in addition to your favorite apps.
As the app’s name suggests, it adds a dedicated ‘sidebar’ along the left screen edge of your Android device, containing your chosen apps and system toggles. This vertically scrollable switch list is customizable and can be summoned from anywhere in the OS by using the swipe-in gesture from the left edge.
You can easily navigate to any of the pinned apps or trigger a system feature by just tapping its icon. Long-pressing an item lets you remove it from the list or replace it with another item. When adding new items, you’re provided with a comprehensive list of all your apps and various system toggles. A rather simple way to remove an unwanted item from this list is to swipe its icon towards the right from the switch list itself.
To configure the app’s layout and behavior, you’ll have to tap the Sidebar icon from the notification dropdown. On the screen that follows, you can activate/deactivate the app’s services, set the app to automatically start on system boot, enable/disable animations, and adjust the sidebar’s width, opacity, color, sensitivity, height & position.
Sidebar is available in the Play Store as both a feature-limited free version and a $1.99 fully functional variant. The free version restricts the terms of the number of apps and system toggles that can be added to the switch list, and also limits access to certain in-app customizations. On the other hand, the full version is free of any such restrictions. Download links to both the variants are provided below.