[APP][5.0+][ROOT][2017.02.09] Recently v1.40 - Make recents useful again on Lollipop

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By Chainfire, Moderator Emeritus / Senior Recognized Developer - Where is my shirt? on 10th March 2015, 03:58 PM
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With Android 5.0 Lollipop's release, the recents view (multitask button) became overview, and instead of showing you only actually running apps, it also shows you apps that have ran in the past. Over time, this screen ends up listing pretty much every app you have ever run, becomes completely useless, and wastes a perfectly good (soft-)button.

Recently aims to restore sanity, by limiting which apps are shown. In its aggressive 'running tasks only' configuration, it will show you only apps that are actually running right now. Because Android can be fairly aggressive itself with killing off apps, apps you have used just a minute ago may disappear from the list in this setup, and configuring Recently to remove entries that have not actually run the past few days may be the better option.

Aside from listing only running apps or apps that have run in a certain timeframe, Recently also allows you to limit by number of entries shown. Note that actually running apps will always be shown, regardless of this setting - only entries from apps that aren't actually running are ever removed.


A number of more advanced options are available as well, such as showing a 'Clear All' button in the recents view (doesn't work on all devices), limiting the number of Google Searches that show up (originating from the Google search bar and Google Now), and hiding the Settings app.

Additionally, you can force remove tasks and documents that are running but have not been accessed longer than the configured age limit. This is a rather extreme measure that will result in tasks being killed, do not use it lightly.


Purchasing the Pro version supports my developments and will allow you to start Recently automatically at boot.


This app is built specifically for Android 5.0 through 7.x. Future versions of Android may work differently, the recents/overview screen may be changed by Google, etc. At some point, this app may stop working because of this.


Aren't task killers bad?
No tasks are killed by Recently by default - it only removes entries from the recents list that are not actually running at time of removal. Some of the advanced options can cause tasks to be killed however, but these are clearly marked. Task killing can ultimately be bad for performance and battery life, so be sure you know what you're doing and why.

What resources does this use?
Virtually none. There are no wakelocks at all. Battery impact should be less than 1% worst case.

Nothing happens?
(1) Make sure you have enabled the switch in the top right of the settings screen
(2) Make sure you aren't using a custom kernel that disables logging
(3) Make sure you give it a minute or so after first enabling it

When I press the back and the multitasking button really quickly, my last used app that is now closed is still listed
The delay in this case is about a second after the app close animation finishes

I just pressed the back button on an app, and I'm in 'running apps only' mode, but the app is still listed
Not all apps actually close when you press the back button. Most do, but some don't.

Nothing is happening at all, and I'm finding an 'unexpected EOF' error in logcat
Sometimes the app can't access logs. This is usually because multiple apps are trying to read from logcat at the same time. The app will keep trying periodically. Rebooting usually gets rid of this problem.

I can't get it to work
This may or may not be related, but Recently requires SuperSU if SELinux is in Enforcing mode. Another root solution will work if SELinux is in Permissive mode.


You can grab Recently from Google Play

(v1.00: 448; v1.01: 1556; v1.10: 640; v1.15: 222; v1.16: 212; v1.17: 1802; v1.20: 12046; v1.30: 2713; v1.36: 294; v1.40: 3290)
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10th March 2015, 03:58 PM |#2  
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2017.02.09 - v1.40
- (c) 2017
- Fixed Nougat compatibility

2016.02.12 - v1.37
- Minor adjustments to running app detection

2016.01.29 - v1.36
- (C) 2016
- Fixed breakage on 32-bit devices

2016.01.28 - v1.35
- Fixed some M-related background crashes
- Fixed some 64-bit related background crashes

2015.10.07 - v1.30
- Basic M compatibility - SuperSU or permissive SELinux required
- Made the clear all button FABulous

2015.04.17 - v1.20
- Fix background process not killing anything on some new firmwares

2015.03.17 - v1.17
- Further reduced SU calls

2015.03.16 - v1.16
- Fix periodic root popup

2015.03.15 - v1.15 - RELEASE NOTES
- Workaround CM's # in statusbar
- Fix never quitting with CM's SU
- Multi-user support - works for all users, but with admin's config
- Fix settings screen margins on tablets

2015.03.13 - v1.10 - RELEASE NOTES
- Age limit is now a slider, with more (shorter) options
- Added option to show a clear all button (doesn't work on all devices)
- Added option to limit Google Search results in recents
- Added option to hide Settings app
- Added option to force remove stale tasks
- Added option to force remove stale documents
- The app itself no longer shows up in recents
- Never remove the home, recents or foreground tasks

2015.03.10 - v1.01 - RELEASE NOTES
- Fix an issue with purchasing not working

2015.03.10 - v1.00
- Initial release
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10th March 2015, 03:58 PM |#3  
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10th March 2015, 04:21 PM |#4  
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10th March 2015, 06:32 PM |#7  
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Very nice! Should have been stock in the first place
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10th March 2015, 07:21 PM |#8  
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Thanks!! You're the best

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10th March 2015, 07:28 PM |#10  
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It would be nice if the running apps are highlighted somehow to differentiate from the other ones, but I guess that's not the point of the app, just saying.. (though I don't have lollipop so I may be wrong)
Anyway, one of the reasons I don't have lollipop - gone.
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