If you think the Overview page is a cluttered mess then let you show you how to take control of how long apps can stay in there with Recently.
Google make some changes with the recents page with Android 5.0+ and they changed the name from Recents to Overview. They changed the name because the multitask screen no longer just shows you your recently used applications. See, in Android KitKat and before, this recents page was blank after you restarted your Android smartphone or tablet. That was because there wasn’t anything recent that had been opened. With Lollipop onward, Google changed over to a card view and changed the name to the Overview page.
So instead of listing your recently open applications in this screen, it shows you an overview of the last applications that you have opened. This was met with mixed emotions as some people really liked it and others didn’t. The card based view actually shows more content on the screen than how it used to be and this is a great thing. However, it also doesn’t go blank once apps have shut down and after a restart. So if you opened up a game, restarted your Android device and looked at the Overview page, you’ll still see that game listed there. It’s not running and it isn’t draining your battery, but it’s there for quick access in case you want to go back to it without hunting down the icon.
So because applications aren’t removed from here unless you manually remove them yourself. . .this Overview page can get pretty cluttered over time. And swiping away applications(aka force closing) isn’t a habit you need to have anymore. This is where Recently comes into play. Recently is an application from the well known SuperSU developer Chainfire. With Recently, you can set various parameters as to how long applications are allowed to sit in this Overview page. The application even has a few extra features related to the Overview page that you might enjoy too.
How to Use Recently
- Download and Install the Recently Application
- Launch Recently and Grant it Root Access
- Configure the Settings to Your Liking
- Tap the Toggle at the Top Right to Enable Recently
There really isn’t much more too it than that. As with all the other applications and tips in this section, you will need root access to your smartphone or tablet in order to take advantage of Recently’s features. Once installed and launched, you’re greeted with a couple pages of settings to read through and configure. The main two options are Age Limit and Entry Limit. With these, you can set how long you want apps to be allowed in the Overview page as well as how many different apps you want to be allowed in there. Technically isn’t not limited by apps, but entries because applications like Chrome can have multiple entries if you have a certain option enabled.
Something a lot of people want on their Overview page is a close all button. Again, you shouldn’t be in the habit of force closing out applications because Android does a good job of managing your RAM now, but if you are tired of things being cluttered here, you can add a Close All button like you see above. Although, in the image I’m showing you, there are two close all buttons. The one toward the top is actually put there from the custom ROM I’m using(Pure Nexus Experience) and the one toward the bottom is the one that shows up when you enable the feature in Recently. This button only appears in the bottom right of the Overview page when it is enabled.
As we continue scrolling through the Recently settings, you have the ability to limit the number of Google searches that appear from the Google Search widget and Google Now page. You can hide entries from the Settings page, enable the ability to force applications out of the Overview page if they’re running and do the same with just documents too. And this is something that should be pointed out. Recently will not force close applications that are running in the background unless you enable one of these two options. The main goal of Recently is to remove all the entries from the Overview page that are no longer running.
Recently is a free application that you can download and try out. To unlock the Pro features, it only costs a dollar(which is what the in-app purchase is). However, Chainfire is generous enough to let you Freeload and enable the Pro features without paying. Still, the man does a lot of work for the community so any help you can give him is well appreciated. If you feel the Recently application is useful in any way, or you just want to donate to the cause, then unlock the Pro version on your device. I should note that the only Pro feature(as of writing this) is the start this application(and follow your configuration rules) immediately after booting up.