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Samsung Galaxy S5: How to Use the Recent Apps Button in Android 4.4.2 Kitkat

In the Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung has decided to make some changes. Some changes that I noticed at the first time I got this phone is the Settings menu view and change of the physical buttons functionality. Now, the Menu key is no longer available and replaced with the Recent apps key. I don't why Samsung did this change. But, I think it's done because the Recent apps key has more functions than the Menu key. If the Menu key only allow you to open additional options for the current screen, then the Recent apps key will allow you to open or close recently used apps, close active apps as well as open additional options for the current screen though with the different way.


How to open recently used apps?
Since all apps that you have opened before are not completely closed unless you close them from the recent apps list, then you can easily switch among them by using the Recent apps key as listed in the following steps:
  1. On any screen, tap the Recent apps key (it's a physical button located in the left side of the Home key). You'll see thumbnails of recently used apps.
  2. Tap the required app you want to open.
  3. The selected app will be opened.



How to close recent apps?
You can easily remove a single or all recently used apps by using the Recent app key as listed in the following steps:
  1. On any screen, tap the Recent apps key (it's a physical button located in the left side of the Home key). You'll see thumbnails of recently used apps.
  2. To close a single app go to the step #3 while to close all apps go to the step #4.
  3. Close a single app:
    • Swipe the thumbnail of the required app you want to close to the right or to the left. Or, long tap the thumbnail of the required app and then select Remove from list.
    • The selected app will be closed.
  4. Close all apps:
    • Tap .
    • All recently used apps will be closed.


How to close active apps?
Some apps may not be closed when you close them from the recent apps list and they remain active in the background. In case you want to remove active/running apps, you can do so by using the Recent apps key as listed in the following steps:
  1. On any screen, tap the Recent apps key (it's a physical button located in the left side of the Home key).
  2. Tap and then you'll see RAM status and list of running apps.
  3. To close a single app go to the step #4, while to close all apps go to the step #5.
  4. Close a single app:
    • Tap End button next to desired active app you want to close.
    • Tap OK button.
    • The selected app will be closed.
  5. Close all active apps:
    • Tap End all button located at the bottom of the screen.
    • Tap OK button.
    • All active apps will be closed.

How to use the Recent apps key as the Menu key?
If you feel more comfort using physical button than using the on-screen more options icon to access additional options for the current screen, then you do so by long tapping the Recent apps key, the additional options for the current screen will be displayed on the screen. To make it clearer, here are the example how to access the settings menu in the Messaging app by using the Recent apps key:
  1. Open Messaging app.
  2. Long tap the Recent apps key (it's a physical button located in the left side of the Home key).
  3. On pop up menu select Settings.

Well, though at the first time it takes more time for me to familiarize myself with the new functionality of the physical buttons in this phone. But, now I find that this change gives me more benefits. Now, it's so easy for me to close/open recently/active apps compared if I have to do so by long pressing the Home key. So, how about you? Did the Recent apps key bring you any benefits?

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