Waiting for an OS update to come to an Android device can take forever, and for many users, it might not even arrive. That’s an area where Android loses against iOS and Windows phones. I, too, am waiting for the promised update on my Xperia Z , and needless to say, the wait doesn’t thrill me. I would be lying if I said I’m not jealous of the users who got the update and are enjoying the beautiful design of the new UI.
The Lollipop task switcher is one of my personal favorites when it comes to the overall design upgrade of Lollipop. The stacked cards floating in open space are sure a view for the eyes, and at the same time, they make it easy for the user to multitask. Today I am going to show you how to get a similar task switcher on your outdated Androids so you can keep calm.
Just to make things clear, this is not an official part of Android Lollipop, but a third party app that provides a replica of the task switcher.
Fancy Switcher for Android
So let’s see how we can install Fancy Switcher on our droids and get a step closer to Lollipop. The app is free to download on the Play Store and you will be taken through a brief tutorial on the first launch. You can choose to skip that if you’d like, because I’ll be doing a way better job in the course of the article.
Fancy Switcher gives you two modules. One is a quick app switcher that quickly takes you to the last app you were using. When you swipe from the left edge of your phone, the app will show you the thumbnail preview of the last app and just releasing that finger switches the app. At first you might not be able to see a live preview of the apps currently running. Only after you open the app that the state can be cached to the app switcher.
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To get the Lollipop-like task switcher, open the Fancy Switcher settings and select Lollipop from the Style Settings. The task switcher will now launch in Lollipop style. Talking about launching the switcher, things will be a little different from stock Android, as this is not a system app and will not be able to change the default task switcher button you have on your phone.
However the app gives you two easy ways to launch the switcher. One, you can tap on the persistent notification from the Fancy Switcher in the app drawer. But the second option, where it replaces your default Google Now launcher, might be friendlier.
Note:Rooted users can change the default button behavior in order to have it launch Fancy Switcher. The options are available in the Advanced Settings.
While you use the app, you will see a small green dot next to the apps in the switcher. This green dot means that the app is still running in the background and that there is no data loss since you last used the app.
In the free version, the app only displays the last 5 apps you’ve worked on. The restriction can be removed by purchasing the gold edition for just $2.49. The gold version unlocks a lot of features that allow you to fully customize the Fancy Switcher. The background can be changed to a personal wallpaper or made transparent just like Lollipop.
Fancy Switcher is the nearest thing you will get to the Lollipop app switcher while you are still waiting for the upgrade. If you have a rooted device and purchase the gold version of the app, you’ll be surprised to find that you can’t tell it from the real deal. Yes, it’s that close.
The app still needs to work on stability as a few forced closes were observed while reviewing the app. But other than that, everything seemed hunky dory. Let us know your experience of using it.