Android N to Add Clear All Button to Recent Apps Menu

While its difficult to not notice, some of you might not be aware that Google I/O is in town and has already given us some big news for the year ahead. Not content with focusing on just Android, Google have introduced the Assistant, as well as an Amazon Echo competitor in the Google Home speaker as well as a fresh outlook for virtual reality content with the new Daydream platform. Of course, Android will always be a focus of Google's and Android N, their latest version of Android has gotten some serious attention already this year. It's going to see updates get a lot easier for Android users and it's also going to see Google make some changes to the way that we change apps.

The recent apps switcher is something that has evolved over the years from a simple way of accessing your recently-used apps to a way of switching from apps that are still running or were opened recently. The problem that many users have been seeing however, is that the recent apps menu has been keeping practically all apps opened on your device in the same menu. This can become quite messy, and so Google is changing things in Android N and will limit the amount of apps in this menu to a scant seven. Google aren't making this change for the sake of it however, as David Burke, Vice President of Android, said that 99% of users only accessed seven of the apps in this menu, so this move was likely done to help average users out, rather than penalize power users.

Elsewhere, Google has announced that the "Clear All" button is to become a permanent feature of Android N after "popular demand". These are small tweaks, but they should go a long way to cleaning up the overall UI of the recent apps menu, and help make Android a little bit easier to navigate for the average users that might not familiar with the general concepts that Android has had for quite some time now. As for Android N itself, there's a new Developer Preview available right now for compatible phones.

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Tom Dawson

Former Editor-in-Chief
For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.