I frequently switch between a terminal and a web browser/kindle while working on the device with a bluetooth keyboard. The method I used on the stock 3.2 (with TouchWiz) ROM:

  1. press the home key on the keyboard

  2. down-arrow, which selects the top-left icon on the current home screen (generally the terminal)

  3. arrow to the app I want

  4. press enter on the keyboard.

CM9 foils this method by putting the focus on the search bar and voice search stuff at the top of the homescreen; I can't arrow-down from there to the icons I'm interested in. (EDIT: if I remove the search bar, focus still does not go to the app shortcuts.)

I use both the Logitech Tablet Keyboard for Android 3.0 and Samsung's own keyboard/dock. At least on the logitech, holding the home key has only the effect of delaying the 'go to home' action. It has Fn-keys for mail, web, calendar, music. I really only need a quick method for three apps.

What are my options for task switching on CM9, using a keyboard?

Misfeatures of a method:

  1. Tasks are presented with changing order. This means that I have to examine the screen to make a choice - it foils muscle memory.

  2. Tasks are linearly presented. This wastes three of my arrow keys, and - already, with just three tasks - creates an artificial distance between the first and the third task. I'd like to create my own sense of distance between tasks - as I did in the 3.2 method above, by having terminal first, kindle to its right, the browser just below it, and then secondary apps arranged elsewhere.

  3. Every recent task is presented. I generally don't want to switch back to Settings - or to the app I just tested, am now rebuilding, and will launch as part of the installation process.

2 Answers 2


My 3.2 method does work with CM9, and the default launcher (Trebuchet), with these adjustments:

  1. Go to Settings->Launcher->Homescreen->Search Bar, and remove it. Keyboard focus will default to the apps button (the ::: icon) at the top right

  2. Arrange icons on the right side of the screen instead of on the left. Down-arrow, from the apps button, will go to the top-right icon in the same way as it used to go down to the top-left from the search bar in 3.2

Other launchers are also an option (Go Launcher EX duplicated the old behavior, although it forces phone UI elements), but this is the shortest path if you're otherwise content with Trebuchet.


The other answer works (to remove the search bar and rearrange icons below the ::: button) works fine, but only in a landscape orientation. Even in landscape, pathological arrangements of icons can be stumbled upon.

I've settled on this method:

  1. Use a firewall (e.g., DroidWall) to block 'Google Search', which I never use, and which I don't want broadcasting my task-switching.

  2. To switch to another app, press the Home key and then begin typing the name of the app (the search button isn't necessary.) When the app shows up, down-arrow to it and press Enter.

How convenient this is obviously varies depending on the names of the apps you wish to switch between, and on the other apps you have installed, and on whether you indeed do not ever use Google Search. It's also about half as fast as the 3.2 method.

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