OmniROM is getting a lot of attention from serial ROM flashers, and that lot tends to be pretty flighty – there must be something to this one. Now, the developers have added a new feature that might pique your interest. The latest nightlies of OmniROM include a new app switcher called OmniSwitch. Alternative app switchers are not an entirely new idea, but OmniSwitch looks to have a number of interesting features.

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You launch OmniSwitch just like PIE controls in Paranoid Android – just swipe in from the active edge of the screen and you get a list of recent apps, favorites, navigation buttons, application control, and RAM usage. Of course, this is all configurable in the settings. The developers chose to implement this as an app in OmniROM so users could choose to use it or not. The upshot of this is that OmniSwitch can be packaged as an app for installation on other ROMs.

Screenshot_2014-01-31-21-29-57 Screenshot_2014-01-31-21-30-09 Screenshot_2014-01-31-21-42-53

Most of OmniSwitch's features will work with the standalone version, but to get full control it needs to be installed as a system app on Android 4.4.x. The code is open source, and the developers plan to link to a standalone app soon. Until then, anyone curious can grab the latest OmniROM builds to check it out.


Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • http://www.ig33kstas.com/ TechXero

    Install as system app? Like move apk to /system/app? Or where?

    I have apk that's why am asking.


    • Plerisei

      Yup, move the app to /system/app, and reboot.

    • Akath19

      In KitKat it has to be in /system/priv-app in order for it to kill apps and the like, putting it in /system/app won't work.

  • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

    Cool! Looking forward to testing it on CM, specially when I get KitKat through it =)

  • sourabh sekhar

    OMNIROM will be the best rom available out there in some time.
    They just keep adding useful features

    • merman1983

      Really want to try it. Hope they can expand and support a few more devices soon.

      • sourabh sekhar

        The rom is still new and it will take time before they get maintainers for many other devices.
        Let's hope that the support for oter devices improves in the future.

        • merman1983

          I understand it's just I'm running a Galaxy Nexus so it's an odd feeling to be left out. But of course Texas Instruments etc. so I get it.

          • Devo

            They do support the GSM Galaxy Nexus, but if you are on CDMA version, like myself, you could try a home baked omni ROM, I use OmniMetal on mine, and it runs great!

          • merman1983

            Ah, yes I'm a Toro man (didn't realize the GSM variants were supported). I will check it out thanks~

  • J3R3MY_H

    Anyone have a link to a video of this in action?

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

    Why would someone want a Gingerbread-style app switcher?

    • cbstryker

      Not everyone wants what you want.

    • Bluewall

      It's weird.
      Usually, Omni ROM work is really well designed and polished. And this time it looks out of place sadly.
      But we can guess they will improve it :)

      • theunknown

        Correct. Its in nightly now and perhaps by the time it reaches stable, it will be more polished.

    • Max Weninger

      You don't have to use it

  • Cj

    I prefer switchr

    • Marcell Lévai

      Yup, me too.

    • Max Weninger

      I prefer open source

      • Manudel96

        Yeah usually me, too.
        But the developer of switchr is such a good developer and you can request features which he usually adds pretty fast if he agrees.

    • Arthur Dent

      I prefer apps that don't drop vowels willy-nilly.

  • Daniel McKenzie J.

    WHY would I want that on my phone? It looks horrible!

  • Android Developer

    I don't get what it does and how to use it.
    Maybe a video could help?

  • yankeesusa

    I really liked omnirom on my note 2. I had 4.4 rom on it and it was awesome. But since it is not touchwiz based I switched to another one to get my spen features and wifi calling back. But in the end I may go back to omni. Its a great stable rom.

  • Manningisaloser

    Best Rom for the Samsung S3. Dont like the colors of my display on cm.

  • didibus

    If any ROM dev is listening, I want to be able to switch between apps by sliding left and right on the Navigation Bar. Just like in Chrome you switch tabs by sliding on the chrome nav bar, I'd like to switch apps by sliding on the Android Nav Bar.

    Bonus points if you make sliding up from the Nav bar similar to sliding down on the chrome nav bar. So sliding up would open recents, but it will be in a stacked manner, a la chrome mobile.

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      I've got a better solution - Google should implement multitasking gestures like in iOS for tablets or Jolla for phones

      • didibus

        I honestly hate iOS multitasking gestures. 4 fingers? Are you serious?

        What are Jolla's gestures?

        • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

          Swipe from edge of the screen to switch between apps

          And honestly I'd welcome gestures for at least 10" tablets, it's simply not convenient to have to use the recents buttons on the bottom of the navbar on N10

          • didibus

            Oh ya, I thought for a long time that from out of edge in to switch app was the way to go, but I realised recently that it is not. For pretty much the same reason Chrome changed from that gesture to swipe on the nav bar. You don't want to prevent apps from using this gesture for themselves, because it is very handy for some apps to do so.

            So I still believe the best way to do app switching is what I said, concentrate the gestures on the Nav Bar. That's for phones at least, I think it would be great on tablets too, but maybe there is something better, didn't think about it too much.

            Edit: Actually, I think tablets should work just like Chrome tabs do in tablet mode. That is, the nav bar should just display the open apps as buttons, like in Windows. 10" tablets have way enough room to show all opened apps easily.

  • http://flavors.me/sabret00the sabret00the

    Why didn't they just mod the existing app switcher? Add an action bar along with their additional options? Surely that's a wholly more sane approach.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Well it does look a bit handy because you don't need navbar or the dock with this switcher, a bit more real screen estate is always good. But yeah it does remind Gingerbread too much

  • Adriano Corte Real

    JUST announced? I've had this in Omni for weeeeeks now. HTC m7