Unlock REAL Multitasking on Your Android Phone with QuickDesk

Android does multitasking. Not some watered down, limited-functionality-API-while-the-application-is-suspended multitasking like other phones (cough), but real, 100% Grade A multitasking.  One big problem with Android’s multitasking, though, is that even though you can run everything simultaneously, it’s hard to jump between applications without returning to your home screen.

Sure, you can access a list of your 6 most recently used applications by holding the Home button (shown at the right).  That’s great, but if the app you want to use isn’t in that list, you’ve gotta go back to your home screen, open the app drawer, and launch the next application.  Same goes if you want to enable wifi while using the browser – you’re forced to go back to the home screen, open Settings, and make the change.

Not anymore.

QuickDesk for Android

Faruq Rasid, the developer who made the great home replacement HelixLauncher (a precursor to my new favorite, LauncherPro), recently released an app called QuickDesk that completely changes how Android does multitasking.

QuickDesk works like a home screen replacement, with a twist – you set QuickDesk as your default home screen, then tell it what home screen you normally use.  For all intents and purposes your original home screen will still be there, but it is now piggybacked on top of QuickDesk.

When you want to start multitasking, double tap the Home button to bring up the hidden QuickDesk screen.  This screen works just like a normal home screen, so you can add shortcuts, widgets, anything.

The next time you’re using Twitter and want to change your screen brightness?  Just double tap Home and use the Settings widget on your QuickDesk screen.  Want to change your music track while playing Gem Miner?  Just use the music widget in QuickDesk.  QuickDesk gives you a fully-functional home screen that politely hovers over whatever app you’re currently using.

The QuickDesk screen hovers over Touiteur.

Besides adding your favorite apps to your QuickDesk screen, I like having a music widget, some type of settings widget or app (I use Quick Settings which has all major settings in one app), and apps I frequently use like email, messaging, browser, and phone.

Conclusion

Simply put: this app is a game changer for multitasking and something I think the Android team absolutely needs to consider including in future versions.  To download QuickDesk, simply search for it in the Android Market or scan the code to the right with the Barcode Scanner app.

Oh and once you’re done with that, tell me what you think in the comments!


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16 responses to “Unlock REAL Multitasking on Your Android Phone with QuickDesk”

  1. mike f Avatar
    mike f

    it doesn't give you the apps that you have running in the background it just gives you another home screen that becomes available with a double click. I would like it to show all the apps that I currently have running instead

  2. Dark Maverick Avatar
    Dark Maverick

    That is pretty slick, I agree with Mike, it would be useful to see what apps you are running, but I can see that affecting performance, as the screen would have to frequently refresh what apps you have running, and it would be limited to how many apps will be shown. I like this idea better, it's more realistic. Thanks for the review!

  3. Dark Maverick Avatar
    Dark Maverick

    Mr. Wondrasek, I also am a big fan of launcherpro, however, recently I rooted to froyo, and am torn between launcherpro and the stock launcher. Although launcherpro has everything that the stock launcher has, the stock froyo just feels smoother and faster, the icons are more polished also. Have you worked with the froyo launcher, and if so what is your opinion?

  4. kschulte Avatar
    kschulte

    I recently flashed a Froyo ROM to my Droid, and I also wasn't sure if I wanted to stick with the stock home screen or LauncherPro. In the end, LauncherPro won out. I felt it was a bit smoother, and I really like the custom dock icons. Plus, LauncherPro lets you easily back up and restore your home screen configuration in case you want to flash a different ROM.

  5. Dark Maverick Avatar
    Dark Maverick

    That is pretty slick, I agree with Mike, it would be useful to see what apps you are running, but I can see that affecting performance, as the screen would have to frequently refresh what apps you have running, and it would be limited to how many apps will be shown. I like this idea better, it's more realistic. Thanks for the review!

  6. Dark Maverick Avatar
    Dark Maverick

    Mr. Wondrasek, I also am a big fan of launcherpro, however, recently I rooted to froyo, and am torn between launcherpro and the stock launcher. Although launcherpro has everything that the stock launcher has, the stock froyo just feels smoother and faster, the icons are more polished also. Have you worked with the froyo launcher, and if so what is your opinion?

  7. kschulte Avatar
    kschulte

    I recently flashed a Froyo ROM to my Droid, and I also wasn't sure if I wanted to stick with the stock home screen or LauncherPro. In the end, LauncherPro won out. I felt it was a bit smoother, and I really like the custom dock icons. Plus, LauncherPro lets you easily back up and restore your home screen configuration in case you want to flash a different ROM.

  8. Evan W. Avatar

    Hey Dark Maverick,

    I haven't yet rooted my Droid (I've been meaning to, maybe it'll happen this weekend), so I haven't had a chance to play around with Froyo yet. I'm hoping Motorola drops it on us as a surprise sometime soon, I've heard there is a tremendous performance gain.

  9. Evan W. Avatar

    Oh and I'm not wild about the stock Launcher Pro icons, so I used custom icons instead.

  10. Dark Maverick Avatar
    Dark Maverick

    You can backup your settings? Looks like launcherpro wins…

  11. Dark Maverick Avatar
    Dark Maverick

    I also was waiting for the OAT froyo update, but when the rumors that it would be released July 13th turned out to be false, I was too impatient to wait. The performance gain is outstanding. You should think about publishing a rooting guide on your website if you do root, I would be more than willing to help.

  12. Evan W. Avatar

    So, I just rooted my phone last night. It was pretty easy, I should've done that a long time ago. What ROM are you running now? I installed Cyanogen 5.0.8 for now.

    Oh also I've added you to the commenter whitelist, so enjoy unhindered commenting 🙂

  13. Dark Maverick Avatar
    Dark Maverick

    Congrats on the root, I am currently using sapphire 0.8.4, I have tried Cyanogen 6 RC1, but I felt sapphire is faster, and plus I have added a black notification bar theme which looks slick. I recommend getting rom manger from the market if you haven't already and trying out sapphire.

  14. Dark Maverick Avatar
    Dark Maverick

    Try out the app switcher widget, combined with quickdesk it is amazing. Exactly what you asked for…

  15. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

    I've been using ROM Manager as well and it is fantastic, well worth the small cost. I have been using CyanogenMod 5.0.8 with the low voltage overclocking kernel, using SetCPU I kept my phone at 750 MHz and clocked it down to 250 MHz when the screen was off. Really increased performance.

    I flashed CyanogenMod 6 RC2 last night and it's pretty nice, but I might go back to 5.0.8 because it seemed so much faster.

  16. Dark Maverick Avatar
    Dark Maverick

    You should look into juice defender, I am currently using the free version, but the paid version has cpu throttling available, but unlike setcpu it has alot more features that help save battery. The only problem I have encountered so far is using juice defender with Google voice, as juice defender controls 3G/WiFi usage while the screen is off, so it interferes with incoming texts/calls from Google voice. But definitely worth it if your not using Google voice.

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