Fresh to the Google Play Store, SwitchApps is the latest addition to the long list of nifty multitasking and app switching solutions for Android. SwitchApps offers its users multiple ways to quickly launch their favorite Android apps & system settings, as well as lock their screens anywhere from within the entire OS. The app’s features and controls can be accessed via a customizable ubiquitous on-screen toggle that allows you to play around with the required apps and settings using different gestures. In this regard, you may use various multi-touch gestures in combination with the toggle itself, or utilize several touch controls to benefit from the app’s dedicated overlay menu, dock and controllers. Whether you’re looking to easily switch back and forth between your recent apps, close all recently opened apps with a single tap, lock your Android device’s screen without wanting to press the power button, quickly jump back to the home screen, or tinker with various Android power settings, SwitchApps has you covered. The app is available in the Play Store for free, and is compatible with Android 2.2 or higher devices.
The SwitchApps toggle is customizable in terms of its screen position, color, icon size and the opacity level for when it’s sitting idle in the preferred corner of your Android device’s screen. The app’s service can be set to automatically start at each system reboot, as well as upon user’s discretion. As a huge benefit for Froyo, Gingerbread and Honeycomb users, SwitchApps offers the Android 4+ style vertically scrollable recent apps list, where you can just flick a tile sideways to quit the relevant app.
Let’s now discuss the app’s various features that can be controlled via different single and multi-touch gestures. Once the toggle is activated, you can tap it once to take a sneak peek at your recent apps list. As with the ICS task manager, you may tap an app title to launch it, swipe its tile sideways to clear it from the list, or hit the Clean button at the bottom to clear the entire list at once. Holding down on the toggle for a couple of seconds will take you back to your Android’s home screen from any other app that you’re currently working on.
Double tapping the toggle reveals a radial control panel overlay, as well as a customizable dock at the bottom of the screen. By hitting the circle at the center of the panel, you can jump to the home screen whereas using other controls available along the dial, you may switch between recent apps, head over to SwicthApps’ configuration screen, or lock the screen with just a tap. The dock at the bottom can hold multiple shortcuts to your favorite apps in an iOS-like interface (complete with the ugly gray faux brushed metal background). Scrolling sideways on the dock helps you access other favorite apps, whereas swiping upwards lets you switch to the power control dock view, complete with the buttons for Wi-Fi, mobile data, Bluetooth, silent mode, airplane mode and brightness mode, as well the brightness level slider. The aforementioned control panel overlay is optional, and should you opt to hide it, the screen locking feature can then be accessed from the dock itself.
Now it’s time to look at the various two-finger multi-touch gestures supported by SwitchApps. All you need to do is hold down on the toggle and swipe sideways with the second finger to switch between recent/running apps. Swiping upwards will take you to your home screen, swiping downwards will launch the SwitchApps’ settings screen, whereas holding down on screen with both fingers will momentarily halt the app’s services, thereby switching its trigger to your device’s notification panel. To reactivate the toggle, just hit said button from the notification shade.
The app might sound a bit complicated at first but once you get the hang of it, you’re certainly going to feel quite comfortable with this rather fresh blend of multitasking on your Android. If you’re somewhat confused about the app’s usage and its various gestures, the demo video below can prove to be mighty helpful to show you exactly ‘how to do it’.