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Best multitasking and shortcut apps for Android

The implementation of the recent apps menu in Android 5.0 Lollipop rendered many shortcut apps useless. Being able to quickly jump between any previously accessed app or menu made Android navigation easier, but it isn't the only way to speed up your workflow. Here are the best app shortcuts and task-switchers for Android.

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The are the best shortcut apps for Android. / © ANDROIDPIT

Omni Swipe – best all-rounder 

After more than 100 million installs, Omni Swipe has a rating of 4.5/5 stars in the Play Store and for good reason: this app is awesome. Part of the appeal of Omni Swipe is its strong design: the rotating wheel which acts as the centre-point for all its interactions looks attractive and feels good to use.

With an inward swipe from the right of left of your screen, you reveal the fan-shaped Omni Swipe toolbar. This gives access to your favorite apps, recent places, settings toggles and more, providing a fast and appealing way to navigate your device.

If you're interested, be sure to go with the paid version or you'll be bombarded with annoying ads.

androidpit best multi tasking apps
Omni Swipe is your quintessential Android shortcut app. / © ANDROIDPIT
Omni Swipe Prime(Remove Ads) Install on Google Play

Shortcuts – best notification shade add-on

The simplicity of Shortcuts is what really sells it: open the app, tick the apps you wish to make shortcuts to and enable it. Shortcuts to these apps will now appear in your notification shade.

The reason that Shortcuts is so effective is that the notification shade is accessible from any menu or area on Android. Whether you're watching a video, playing a game, or taking part in an ongoing call, you can pull down the notification shade and see your favorite apps right there. I can't see a reason why this option isn't put into stock Android as standard.

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The choice to use notification shade shortcuts should come as standard on Android. / © ANDROIDPIT
Shortcuts Install on Google Play

Power Toggles – best for custom settings toggles 

Power Toggles is as old as the hills, but it's still going strong. This brilliant free app gives you better settings toggles and makes them easier to access. If, say, you find yourself frequently traveling to your display settings to change the screen timeout time, then you can use power toggles to put that switch right alongside your screen brightness. 

You can even add a whole second row of toggles if you wish. It's subtle, smart, and useful. 

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Power Toggles: still around, still awesome. / © ANDROIDPIT
Power Toggles Install on Google Play

Swipeup Utility – best home button modifier 

Swipeup Utility simply allows you to reconfigure what your Home button does. Want to swipe up to launch one of your apps? You can do that. Or perhaps you want it to take you straight to a contact? Swipeup Utility lets you do that, too.

There are a few bugs in the more advanced features, and it's quite limited, but if you've ever wanted to use your home button to launch your camera app straight into video mode (hey, you might), this is the way to do it.

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A simple way to reconfigure your Home button. / © ANDROIDPIT
Swipeup Utility Install on Google Play

EAS: Easy app switcher – best two-way app switcher

I wrote about EAS just last week, but I wanted to include it in this list because it’s gorgeous. Not aesthetically gorgeous, as such, but gorgeous in its mechanics. EAS is a shortcut app which lets you swap between your two last visited places or apps and also acts as a favorites bar.

It's another floating icon / swipe-in style app switcher, but the addition of a customizable "excluded apps" list means if you can make sure that it always does what you want it to. Read more about it at the link above.

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EAS: switch between your two most recent apps. / © ANDROIDPIT

Download EAS: Easy App Switcher

Bonus app: If by IFTTT

If by IFTTT gets an honorable mention because it doesn't exactly offer a dedicated shortcut, but you can speed up your workflow by using it. IFTTT stands for "if this then that", which essentially explains how the app works: you create a list of commands which work using that formula.

For example, you could create a statement like "if I change my Facebook photo, then change my Twitter photo too" and, once configured, If would automate this process for you. 

It requires some thought, but it's powerful. Check out the best IFTTT recipes to improve battery life at the link.

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IF is a powerful Android tool, but it requires a little work. / © ANDROIDPIT
IF by IFTTT Install on Google Play

What are your favorite shortcut apps? Let us know in the comments. 


Write new comment:
  • Hi! I can not find on my tel S5 NEO 4G how to hide a photo or a file! I know how to do this on S4, but not on S5 NEO. Can you he help me?

  • Anther overlooked app: LMT

    I know that it requires root access, but only for part of the features. It will still partially work without root.

  • Feemy82 7 months ago Link to comment

    You completely overlooked Glovebox and Pintasking. The former gives you Samsung Edge-esque swiping from the edges of your favourite apps etc. Very reliable too. Pintasking is similar but instead of a bar you have circular icons.

  • Swipepad!

    Easily the best. Have tried omniswipe, eas and most of the alternatives out there, but always heading straight back to swipepad after a while. The competition falls short.

    Customisable... supports icon packs, themes, widgets and shortcuts

  • 18
    anshul 7 months ago Link to comment

    I tried EAS & it is the best multitasking app without any adds.

  • Among these I personally use only omni swipe and power toggle.Tried EAS and not such a great app for me

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