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If I long press home, I get a list of the last six apps I've used, but if I open a web browser from another app (eg. by following a link in Tweetdeck or email) the web browser never shows up in my recent app list. This seems to be expected behavior -- I'm wondering if there is any workaround to this.

It comes up in answers to other questions:

Why does Google Talk never appear on the "Recent Applications" list?

Why isn't gmail listed as a recent app when I long-press the Home button?

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I think you'd better ad a tag for your OS. The recent apps behavior in ICS is completely different. – Al E. Jun 19 '12 at 13:16
Done (gingerbread) – Amanda Jun 19 '12 at 18:33
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Alas, most probably the answer is: No.

Reason: Android's App model.

An app exists of rather loose coupled components (Activities here) that may be launched independently from each other. Only when the main activity is launched as a separate task an entry in the recently launched list is created. Other apps can also launch an external activity (of another app) that does not count towards that list then.

This happens mostly when you dont launch an app from the launcher:

  • You click a notification (missed call, sms, calendar event, ...)
  • An app opens another app (twitter app -> browser)
  • follow a link in an sms -> browser
  • select an image in an app -> open in gallery
  • open youtube from a browser link
  • ...

All those 'opened' apps count as part of the opening app and not as a separate instance (most likely)

I answered a similar question here: Function of back button after opening URL from (Twitter) application

Info about the underlying architecture:

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