Hi folks, this is Paul, one of the newer writers here at Android Police. I have to begin my meet-the-new-guy post by acknowledging just how cool it is that I'm writing for this site, one that I have long admired as just about the smartest and most comprehensive site of its kind. Admittedly, I haven't been able to give as much time to the site as I had hoped when they first brought me on, but I'm having so much fun contributing what I'm able, and I intend to keep at it as long as they'll have me.
I started writing for Android Police in the middle of last December, and perhaps no one was more surprised to find my byline here than me.
If you're a Chrome Beta user who was getting bored with their weekend web browsing, we've got a tip for you - Chrome Beta for Android has an experimental "Accessibility Tab Switcher" flag that'll allow you to switch tabs in a compact, pleasing interface, also enabling you to bring back closed tabs with a handy "undo" button. That should take a little pressure out of your tab management experience.
To turn the Accessibility Tab Switcher on, just open up Chrome Beta and head to chrome://flags. There are plenty of other experimental goodies in there to, for those feeling adventurous.
Vito Cassisi, the developer behind a piece of software that could potentially revolutionize the way Android users switch between apps, updated Switcher today.
Working on the principle that swiping gestures are naturally more satisfying (from a UX standpoint) than press-and-wait actions (a la Android's multitasking button), Switcher's functionality is entirely based on the utilization of universal swipe gestures to switch between running apps (or all apps).
According to the developer, the concept was first imagined when studying on the train, desperately wishing for a way to switch between notes and web that was faster than using home or back buttons.
Those concerned that the vertical "add" and "remove" gestures can rest assured that Switcher's pre-defined swipe zones (which rest fairly high on the screen) will almost never interfere with normal in-app scrolling.
Update: Thanks to commenter Xcom923 (below), I rebooted my phone and have it working! It's freakin' awesome!
Meet Itching Thumb, an absolutely amazing task switcher that's very similar to the one found on WebOS. There's not much I can say that rivals what's shown in the video:
For those who are unable to watch the video or who are unfamiliar with WebOS, it's basically a "card" system - similar to CoverFlow (but with a customizable style). These screencaps illustrate what I'm talking about fairly well:
Left: the cards are flat as you scroll; you can drag an app to the top of the screen to close it (shown).
There are a couple of Android programs that are so brilliant and well done that you can't imagine your life without them. For me, these programs are Launcher Pro, Titanium Backup, and QuickDesk. QuickDesk is ingenious and always makes those who see it for the first time beg me to tell them what it is. Minutes ago, Faruq, the QuickDesk developer, published a completely redesigned and long awaited version 0.4 to the Market, and it is good. Damn good.
To give you a brief background on the app, with QuickDesk, you double tap on the Home button and a quick overlay pops up on top of the current app without taking over and destroying whatever is going on on the screen.
One of the most vaunted features of webOS was its decidedly pretty multitasking interface. Users could invoke an overlay of thumbnail “cards” of their running applications and switch to or close them.
Fresh onto the Android Marketplace is Visual Task Switcher. Continuing on from some progressmade earlier this year (although probably not using the same method), this application grants you thumbnail application switching. While not as polished as Palm’s version, this is an encouraging step towards that alluring goal.
Users can switch to a running application by tapping the thumbnail, or kill it by long-pressing.
Visual Task Switcher allows multiple pages of grid thumbnails which can be scrolled through by swiping.