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Issues with Multitasking in Windows 8 - Switching Between Metro Apps

    General discussion

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    From my experience, Windows 8 had made multi-tasking more time consuming than it used to be. For example, I run 6 Metro Apps (and 5 are in suspension and 1 is running which is the first one I launched for this session), and I decided to switch between apps. Since the app want is the last app to be launched in this session, I that "drag" 4 times in order to see the app I want and it gets worse with more apps running or suspended. The solution I found was to use alt tab then use the mouse to select the app I want to use. It is really clumsy, especially if you have only a keyboard and mouse pad on a laptop. If only there was better way to switch apps as efficiently as the Windows 7 taskbar. The start screen does help, but if you have many apps I don’t think it will be a quick way to switch app.

    The best way is to make use of edge toolbars as such and create an iOS like way to switch apps. When the user does an edge swipe (or the mouse moving to left edge of the screen" on the left hand side shows list the apps in tiles on the left of the screen (covering about a quarter of the screen). When then user taps or click on the tile, the app switching occurs. When the user holds on the tile for about one second, it creates a full screen preview. This UI can also replace the Alt-tab UI as well as make apps side by side easier and the best think is that it can be done while an app is running.

    Microsoft, I know that this only developer preview but please consider the thought of having a “fast and fluid” way to do precise app switching using concepts like the iOS way of switching apps and your own windows 7 taskbar. It will make things a lot easier for both normal and power users.

     

     

     

    Friday, September 16, 2011 1:39 PM

All replies

  • Try this, it is much easier, and natural to do. When switching between apps, click (or touch) the left side and drag towards the center, but don't release yet! If the app is not the one you want, slide back over to the left until the app disappears back on that side, and still without releasing, drag back towards the center. You will now have a different app.

    This is something that can be done very quickly and naturally. Just drag . . . nope, wrong app, drag back, drag again . . .nope . . . repeat.

    I hope this helps,

    Joshua

    Friday, September 16, 2011 2:10 PM
  • After the initial frustrating 15 minutes with the Metro UI (Microsoft you need a tutorial in the production version!) app switching in Metro is my only gripe.

    I've love to see the task switching "card" UI implemented as in WP7 Mango or the Microsoft Touch Mouse 3-finger up swipe gesture.

    However I'd be loath to break the existing app switching mechanism as switching to the "previous app" is so much more common.

    Perhaps multi-finger gestures are the way to go? For example a 3-finger swipe from the side launches a WP7 Mango style card UI.

    Friday, September 16, 2011 2:39 PM
  • At first look, I liked this concept a lot. It's like touch version of alt-tab. But as soon as you get more apps, it gets problematic. it's not nearly as fast as alt-tab and You cannot see icons like in alt tab, so you don't know when to stop if you are just quickly flicking. A better way would be that it would open a list of opened apps with thumbnails when you swipe right. Then you could simply drag wanted app to the center of the screen or tap on it to select it. Or drag it slightly to the left to add side by side.

    Another problem with Metro is that apps close unpredictably. Sometimes app I want is in "multitasking list" and sometimes is not. I guess app will disappear and close after some time of inactivity, but it would be great to have more control over that.

    Friday, September 16, 2011 4:49 PM
  • The terminated app gets a change to save its current state and on resumt (which starts a new instance of the app in this case) the application gets chance to load the saved information a restore to the previous state.
    Friday, September 16, 2011 4:51 PM
  • Yes, but launching fresh and loading saved state is not remotely the same thing is switching to an already-running, memory-resident application. Anyone who has ever used an iPhone or an iPad already knew this, but apparently Microsoft hasn't learned any lessons from their competitors. What apps are running and what apps are not should be in the control of the USER, not the operating system.
    Moderator | MCTS .NET 2.0 Web Applications | My Blog: http://www.commongenius.com
    Friday, September 16, 2011 5:21 PM
  • They will terminate the application in some specific cases only, like the memory is full etc. In other cases, the application will resume from a frozen state in memory.
    • Edited by MCCZ Friday, September 16, 2011 5:24 PM
    Friday, September 16, 2011 5:23 PM
  • Yes, but the user has almost no control over which applications are going to close. The USER should be able to close the applications that he knows he won't need again soon, since the system cannot possibly predict that with any accuracy. And if the user could close applications normally to begin with, the situation of needing to shutdown application to free up memory would happen much less often, resulting in less user astonishment and frustration, and more user control and happiness.
    Moderator | MCTS .NET 2.0 Web Applications | My Blog: http://www.commongenius.com
    Friday, September 16, 2011 5:37 PM
  • I guess there will be more control about closing unvanted apps in future builds or at least they would provide some compensation for that. You are not the only one who is complaining. But I am just guessing.

    • Edited by MCCZ Friday, September 16, 2011 5:53 PM
    Friday, September 16, 2011 5:44 PM
  • Not a good idea...I personally did not like it
    Friday, September 16, 2011 9:15 PM
  • That's still very tedious comparitively. The Windows 7 taskbar is arguably the FASTEST way to switch between apps, and it should be metro-ized, not removed, with windows 8


    zshakoblah
    Sunday, January 22, 2012 6:04 PM