The trademark capability of modern day smartphone sin undoubtedly the multi tasking features, which helps to bring the mobile devices one step closer to their older, more powerful computer relatives. This ability is brought into focus even more in the Google made Android operating system thanks to the clever software implementation and powerful hardware found inside Android running devices. Many people also use this feature without even being aware, as they tend to take it for granted in their devices. The simplest idea, of being able to stop in the middle of your e-mail to check out a web page or add a couple of tracks to the playlist, and then being able to simply return to the state you left your e-mail in is exactly the point of multitasking on a mobile device.

As always, the stock implementation of multitasking is not the best one available, or better said it is not the one that best suits your personal needs. To this goal, we have summed up in this article some advices along tips and trick that will help you improve your multitasking on your Android running device.

1. Using the Back button to return to the previous application.

All Android running devices out there come with the Back button, and for a good reason. While many of you have not used this button for multitasking, but rather for simply going back to the previous menu, you only need to press it once in some situations to change the app you are using. Most of you tend to press the home button and then open the application drawer in order to select another application, but this can be done with less of a hassle by using the simple back button.

You only need to tap the back button in your current application in order to go to the previously used one. For example if you were using Twitter and you wend to check a Facebook notification you can simply press the back button to come back to Twitter after finishing your job in Facebook. This is possible thanks to the way Android handles multiple apps: it does not close them, but rather places them in the RAM memory in their current state so that they can be easily accessed again if needed.

Just keep in mind that if the app you are using has numerous menus or subpages, pressing the back will return you to the previous page of the app, and it may take a couple of more taps in order to get to the previously used app.

2. Creating shortcuts on your home screen.

All of the default Android launchers out there let you put shortcuts of your most used apps on your home screen, and I am sure that most of you have used this feature already, especially if you own a device with Sense or TouchWiz UI. You can also use this feature on this party launchers such as Launcher Pro or Go Launcher.

[caption id="attachment_5348" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Shortcut"]Shortcut[/caption]

Creating such shortcuts for your most used games and apps can come in handy if you are a heavy multi tasker, as you will only have to press the home key on your device and then simply start the app of your choosing, without having to open the application drawer or searching for the app if you have hundreds installed.

3. Long pressing the Home button to access recently used apps.

Most people tend not to use this simple and very effective multi tasking feature, as they tend to rely on third party task managers or task killers. Google implemented a smart feature that lets you see a list of your recently used apps by long pressing the home button. In Android 2.3 Gingerbread you would only get the latest apps with their icons, but in its later edition, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, pressing the home button for a couple of seconds will bring you to a scrollable list of apps along with screen shots of their condition.

[caption id="attachment_5350" align="aligncenter" width="202" caption="Recent Apps"]Recent Apps[/caption]

In either edition of Android, all you have to do to return to a previously used app is to select it from that list an wait for it to load. You will also notice that the application will resume from the place you left it at if it supports multi tasking. If not, you will simply open a fresh new iteration of the app.

4. Using Quickdesk.

Quickdesk is a third party application that can be freely downloaded from the Google Play Store. Its main feature is that it has a similar implementation to the standard recent apps menu in Android. To this extent you will be presented with a list of apps that can be access by simply double tapping the home button. When you first install this app, you will notice that the list of easily accessible apps is empty, but you are free to place everything you want on it including widgets.

[caption id="attachment_5349" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Quickdesk"]Quickdesk[/caption]

This app could turn out to be your lifesaver if you have hundreds of apps installed and if you use many of them on a daily basis. You would just have to select the app you want from a customizable list instead of having to search for it in the application drawer.

If you like the idea behind this application, feel free to download it from here.

5. Using the Smart Taskbar app.

You may find yourself in the situation of having to access one app, but having to go to the application drawer to do this due to the fact that it is neither in the recently used apps nor on your home screen. This is exactly the time where the Smart Taskbar app could come in handy, as it features a larger list of customizable apps and widgets that just pops up when you need it.

[caption id="attachment_5352" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Smart Taskbar"]Smart Taskbar[/caption]

After installing this app, you will notice that it has started a little translucent arrow on your screen, which will sit on top of any app you use. All you have to do in order to access the Smart Taskbar is to tap that arrow and then the windows of the app will pop right in front of you and you will be able to quickly select the app you want.

If you don’t mind another UI element on your screen in all the apps you can download the Smart Taskbar app from the Google Play Store by clicking here.

6. Using Swipe Pad

This particular app is different from the rest thanks to its clever implementation way. Unlike other apps where you have to double tap buttons, to access Swipe pad you only need to swipe your finger across the screen regardless of the app you are in. Swipe pad is a launcher panel overlay, so if you swipe across the screen from any app you will launch its panel, which contains 12 big customizable pads, where you can place any of your commonly used apps with ease.

[caption id="attachment_5353" align="aligncenter" width="184" caption="Swipe Pad"]Swipe Pad[/caption]

The simple concept behind it might appeal to some of you out there, since you will no longer have to go through the hassle of remembering which button to press to go to your quick launch list.

You can also download this app from the Google Play Store by clicking here.

7. Using the SmartBar app

The last application in our list that will help you multi task more effectively is the SmartBar app. This app is more of a task manager, as it comes with numerous functionalities over your current quick apps list, including batch Installation/Uninstallation of apps and also backup features. The SmartBar app also comes with quick switch list between recent apps and a universal app search box. Also, this app will let you know other interesting details about your device, such as the battery percentage, amount of free RAM available and the free space on the internal memory. There is also a quick toggle area where you can add your own options which can be used to toggle Connectivity/ Screen Brightness /Auto Rotate options on or off with just a single tap. You can of course do this from a widget on your home screen, but you might want to use this app for it.


[caption id="attachment_5351" align="aligncenter" width="185" caption="Smart Bar"]Smart Bar[/caption]

This app might come in handy if you want to group up all the features of multi tasking and managing apps and space under one roof to save space, so if you like the concept all you have to do is head over to the Google Play Store and download the app.

Unfortunately, we have reached the end of our article, but you should feel free to tell us about the apps you are using for multi tasking on your Android devices in the comments section below. If you don’t use any, this article might just give you an idea about where to start in order to improve your multi tasking experience.

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