In Android 11, Google has added new functionality to the multitasking window or the latest apps – the convenient flow of thumbnails that lets you view all your active apps and choose which one you want to use.
Starting with Android 10, you have been able to choose between three different ways, not only to access your multitasking box but to navigate your home screen. These three methods are appropriately named after the types of buttons displayed at the bottom of the screen: gesture navigation, two-button navigation, and three-button navigation. In this article, I will explain how Android 11 added some interesting features in two of the three methods. But first, here’s how to switch from one to the other.
- Drag down from the top of the screen to access your applause and tap your installation icon (the tooth in the lower right corner)
- If you have Android 10, select “System”> “Gestures”> “System Navigation”
- If you have Android 11, select “Accessibility”> “System Navigation”
- Select either “Gesture Navigation”, “2 Button Navigation” or “3 Button Navigation”
Roger? Now here’s the difference between the three methods, including what was added for Android 11.
This is the “sweep” method that was introduced in Android 10, and the one that Google seems to be most worried about people using. In Android 10, you see the search bar and five icons at the bottom of the screen. In Android 11, everything you see at the bottom of the screen is a single flat line. Swipe up and hold, and you’ll get the multitasking box with all your open apps. You can then swipe from side to side to access them.
In both versions, if you tap the icon at the top of the app page, you will get a drop-down menu that either allows you to access the app’s information page or allows you to open the app in a split screen format. Depending on the app, you can also access other features; for example, if you are running a video, you can pause it from here as well.
In Android 11, two links have been added under the multitasking window: Screenshot and Select. Tap Screenshot and you will get a screenshot of which app page you are currently viewing. Press Select and all text on that app page will be selected for you to copy, share or search.
Navigation with two buttons
This gives you two icons at the bottom of the screen: a short, thick line that stands for the home button and a back button on the left. Swipe up on the home button and you can access the same multitasking window with the drop-down menus that can be accessed at the top of each app.
In Android 11, however, you do not get the “Screenshot” / “Select” buttons below the boxes. Instead, as in Android 10, you get a Google search bar at the bottom of the screen along with icons for five apps.
Navigation with 3 buttons
This is the old-fashioned way of navigating with the buttons at the back, home and switching apps at the bottom of the screen. Use the right “switch apps” icon to display the multitasking box. You still have the drop-down menus available above each app, and in Android 11 you have the screenshot and the links below.