One of the great features the Android OS boasts of is its ability to multitask. This implies that you can have numerous applications running at

Smooth Switching between running Apps in Android

android switchOne of the great features the Android OS boasts of is its ability to multitask. This implies that you can have numerous applications running at the same time without experiencing any issues.  Despite this, I have found out that many Android users, especially newbies have not been taking advantage of this feature.


I was once like this too, anyway. When I first began to use an Android tablet, I found myself closing one application before switching to another. Then, I was not fully aware of the Android OS multitasking ability.

The Home button on your device is one of Android’s tools of multitasking. To switch between running applications, follow the intructions below:

  • Press and hold the Home Button on your device for a few seconds
  • A pop-up displays icons of apps that are currently running on your device
  • Select the application you want to switch to.

You must however ensure that you have running applications to switch to. To open another application without closing the current one, all you have to do is press your home button. That will take you to your home screen and still leave your current application running.


On some Android devices, pressing the Home button for a few seconds only displays the list of the most used apps. Try the above on your device and discover what works for your device. However, leave a comment below if you experience any hitch in getting that done.

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  2. Funnily, some people still do not believe that Android can do multitasking or proper multitasking as they would like to put it.

    Now the thing is that there has been a way older OSes were designed to handle multitasking which designers of Android deemed inefficient. Other OSes are also beginning to implement multitasking in similar fashion.

    The design idea is that if an application should not be doing anything in the background then it is frozen the moment it is put in the background. By frozen, it means that it is not talking processor resources but will still be in the primary memory and can be called up from the memory instantly by bringing it to focus.

    Applications that need to continue running actively in the background have a service component that enable them to continue running when put in the background. Meanwhile their UI component would be frozen when the application is put in the background.

    The multitasking feature of Android is very effective and it has been serving me excellently since I acquired this Android device.

    By the way, there is another way of putting applications in the background on Android though it does not apply to all applications. You can press the back button to put some application in the background and you can also bring an application that is in the background to the foreground by tapping its icon from your home screen or application home screen.

    And for exceptional case, there have been a couple of times I put Opera mini in background and then restarted my device and found out that opened pages were still there in their services various tabs.

  3. i use a samsung galaxy s2 and when i launch d task manager… it only shows me a list of programs last used…. hope i’m not getting it wrong

  4. @forte

    Like the author put it, you can put any application in the background by pressing the physical home button that also takes you to your home screen. But pressing and holding it down for about two seconds will bring up recently used applications that you can choose from. I don’t know if that’s how you launch the task manager you mentioned above or maybe you have a dedicated task manager app.

    Even in the case you mentioned, if your task manager will allow you to launch or reopen your recently used application, I think it is still in order otherwise use the physical home button instead.

    Of course if you put a video player in the background this way, it will stop playing because Android or rather its designers believe that you are not supposed to be playing video in the background, while an audio player will keep playing in the background because you can still listen to music while doing other things. Also a file manager put in the background will be frozen except if it is running a task like compressing some files or transfering file between devices and similar activities.

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