Quick app review: Switcher for Android improves multitasking with iPad-like gestures

2012 07 10 16.52.30 - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

One of the multitouch gestures that I appreciate the most from the iPad is the one that allows you to easily and naturally switch tasks by swiping left or right between them. I’m not always a fan of these types of gestures, but this one makes quite a bit of sense and is very helpful for navigating any running applications. As such, when I found out that there was an application for Android that promised the same functionality for free, I decided to give it a try.

Called Switcher, the app is actually still in the “proof of concept” stage, and isn’t completely ready for general use. However, the concept is great, and the app actually worked fairly well in my limited use. The basic idea behind Switcher is that you have any number of running apps in a list, and you can switch between them by swiping left or right within the correct zones. You can add or remove apps from the list by swiping up or down on the side of the screen within the app which you want to change, or you can just check the box which causes Switcher to cycle through all open apps.

The one hangup I had when using switcher wasn’t necessarily a fault of the app, but could be attributed to confusion with the description. At first, I found it hard to hit the proper zones for the gestures, and it took me a while to get used to adding and removing apps. I also never got the switching gesture to work every single time, but I may be confused about the proper gesture zones. Obviously, the zones need to be fairly small and out of the way so they don’t interfere with normal use, but the way they are currently I wasn’t able to get a good feel for how to use them naturally.

switcher qr code - for some reason we don't have an alt tag hereEven with this in mind, I think Switcher will soon turn out to be a great app. The function is one that is very helpful if not necessary for efficient multitasking, and the touch gesture response should only get better from here. I can’t yet recommend it for daily use, and I’ll probably leave the service disabled at least until the next update, but that is to be expected with something that is merely a proof of concept. If you are interested in trying this out for yourself, then you can get the app from the market, and help keep an eye out for the updates that should soon be making this an even more killer app.

Download: Google Play

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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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