For as long as we can remember Android has had three familiar buttons sitting below the screen: Back, Home, and a Multitasking button that has various names but in essence allows you to access open apps on your phone or tablet. That’s all changed in
Android P (
try it now).
From the Home screen all you see is a single elongated Home button. As before you tap to go Home, press and hold to bring up the Google Assistant, and when you’re within an app the Back button will appear to the side. But what of the third button?
How to use Quick Scrub in Android P
In Android P you are able to see open apps in two ways: by swiping up from the home button to see various app cards, or by using Quick Scrub, a new gesture that involves you sliding the Home button from side to side.
To quickly view your open apps tap the Home button and immediately move your finger to one side (hold it too long and you’ll bring up the Google Assistant). The overview menu will scroll through your open apps for as long as the Home button remains off-centre, and it will open whichever app you land on when you stop scrolling.
This new Quick Scrub gesture works in any app, whichever part of the OS you may be in.
How to close open apps in Android P
Quick Scrub merely lets you see open apps and access them. If you want to interact with them beyond this you need to properly open the Overview menu, which is possible by swiping up from the Home button.
Now you’ll see an array of static app cards. Swipe any of these cards up as if you are pushing them off the top of the screen to close the app.
How to copy and paste from Overview in Android P
A new change in the Overview menu is the ability to interact with the app cards rather than merely open or close the apps. This means you can, for example, copy and paste text from an email into Google Maps without re-opening Gmail.
Copy and paste in Android works by tapping and holding some text, pulling out the handles to cover all the text you need, then choosing the Copy menu from the options in the pop-up beside it. It works exactly the same in the Overview menu – but you’ll need to actually be in the Overview menu (swipe up from the Home button) rather than using Quick Scrub.
Here’s our full
preview of Android P.