But I recently used a friend's Galaxy Nexus and found that the recent apps view was not only very convenient to switch between apps, but also very effective. And the convenience was amplified by the fact that the recent apps button was ever present on the phone's screen. So I decided to implement something similar for my phone.
I came across STANDOUT , a library made by Mark Wei (xda member pingpongboss) which perfectly suited my needs for this app and made creating this app a breeze. Thanks a lot Mark!!
So here is my app called "FLYING RECENTS". It is a floating button that does nothing but open the default recent apps view. It is draggable via the handle attached at its bottom, it is semi-transparent so as to not be too distracting, and it can be closed by clicking its notification in the notification shade. Go ahead. Give it a try. I am sure people with hardware buttons will appreciate the utility of this app once they use it. Do offer suggestions if any, and I will try to incorporate them into the app as much as i can.
Made for a Galaxy S3. Ideal use case is for phones like Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S4, etc. All phones with hardware buttons running Android 4.0+ benefit from this app.
UPDATE: Version 1.01 includes a better looking drag handle. Thanks to pratyush997 for the suggestion!!
UPDATE: Version 1.02 includes a transparent notification bar icon.