Android multi-tasking is poorly thought out
People say Android is pretty much 'done' and just needs some minor polishing. I disagree with this, I think the multi-tasking is pretty poor currently. Especially when you try and switch between native and web apps seamlessly.
if I have an Android device in my hand and I want to switch to say, Gmail. I need to think, have I started this app yet? If I have, I'll hit the mutli-task button and scan the list for it. If I haven't, I need to either go to the right homescreen (which may involve going home and then swiping across homescreens) and hit the icon, or bring up the app drawer and find it.
This fails for several reasons. Firstly, starting an app and switching to an already running one shouldn't be any different. The concept of starting (and closing for that matter) don't even need to exist. Secondly, the app icon should always be in the same place so I can switch to it quickly without thinking. Currently, if an app is running it could be anywhere in the multi-task menu. If it isn't, it could be in several different places. Home. Home and swipe sideways. Home and then app drawer.
This can be mitigated somewhat by placing all your regularly used apps on your home screen, ignoring the multi-task button completely and switching with Home > Icon. This isn't completely free from problems though. In this regard, I think Windows phone actually comes the closest to creating predictable multi-tasking. Tiles are essentially combining starting apps, switching to apps AND showing widget like information on their surface without clicking through.
This all becomes even more frustrating when I want to switch to a web app. Then I need to switch to Chrome and then find the tab in a random list of tabs. If it isn't there, I need to start it. This can be eased sometimes by creating a homescreen shortcut for the app. Problem now, if you've navigated to a child page in the app previously and you click the icon, Chrome will open another tab for the same app and not just switch to it!! (works fine for single-page web apps though) I think this is one of the big hurdles before people accept web apps. They're painful to multi-task and behave completely differently from native.
Anyone else predict big changes in Android multi-tasking or are we stuck with the paradigm of homescreens, app drawers and multi-task buttons?