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This might be the single most important design change Google made with Android L

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:49PM EST
Android L Best Features
Image: Bloomberg Businessweek

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Google’s Material Design isn’t just there to make your phone’s UI look better — it’s also there to make your phone more functional. Droid Life picks up on a new change that Google has made to Android L with Material Design that could really improve multitasking functionality on the device in way that we haven’t seen before.

Essentially, Google has made switching between apps on Android L simpler and easier than ever before with a newly redesigned Recents option that uses a stacked cards-style interface to give you the ability to flip through all of your most recently used applications and tabs in Google Chrome.

As you can see in the screen shots captured by Droid Life posted below, this is a much cleaner and more intuitive implementation of the Recents feature that we see in the mobile version of the Chrome browser, where all of your most recently used tabs are shown in a static list that doesn’t include any of your recently used mobile apps.

This change promises to make it easier to manage the apps you have open and to quickly switch between then without closing down one app, finding it on your home screen and clicking on its icon. Droid Life also notes that “nowhere is Material Design more evident than in the new Recents: the cards have depth and shadows, and the titlebar at the top changes colors depending on the app’s theme,” so this really looks like an instance where Google is adding both function and style to its UI.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.