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I just upgraded my Samsung Galaxy S9+ to Android 9 and was wondering about this new UI element that shows up when opening the task switcher (the ||| button).

In the below screenshot you can see the task switcher and five icons which are similar to the app drawer that lives on the bottom of the home screen (highlighted by the red frame). However, this selection of apps is not the same as in my actual app drawer. Also, I don't really use ES Explorer that often such that the frequency of the app usage would seem relevant here for its appearance (all other apps appear to be system apps). For example I have not even opened it once since the system upgrade.

Screenshot from the Samsung Galaxy S9+ showing the drawer about which this question is

  • What is this new UI element called? (relevant for web searches)
  • How can I configure the apps appearing in this UI element?
  • Where's something new in that screenshot? Isn't that element already available for ages? AFAIR it was there at least since Android 5. As for configuration: Looks like you already used drag'n'drop for that; apart from that, I don't know how to configure it (and what to configure). The exact name? No idea, It's often called the "dock" – but if that's the official name? – Izzy Jan 9 at 19:06
  • @Izzy I never noticed it before, which may also be the case because before the running apps were vertically stacked, now they are side by side. I just tried drag&drop and I was unable to change anything using that method. Also, today that "dock" looks different than yesterday. All system apps are gone, but one on the list is yet again one that hasn't been opened in the foreground since the upgrade. However, it does seem to be related to frequency of use. Perhaps one of those modern adaptive features ... – 0xC0000022L Jan 10 at 8:54
  • Uh, wait: are we talking about the same thing? I referred to what was marked by a red border – and thought that was on the home screen. Now I guess you rather referred to the "Last Recently Used" screen, and that "dock" is only visible there? If that's the case, I retract what I wrote before. – Izzy Jan 10 at 19:19
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    @Izzy yep, that's what I am talking about as well. I still haven't figured out why its content changes. It's not the same list as the open apps (shown above with a "screenshot" of their last state), but it may be something like a recently used or recently closed app. I'll get there eventually, and if I do before others, I'll simply answer my question. – 0xC0000022L Jan 11 at 10:05
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That section is showing predicted apps. This feature was introduced in Android 9 along with their changes to the recent apps screen. I'm not sure there's a common name for that UI element but I found relevant info when searching for "predicted app drawer" and "app suggestions".

AFAIK, you can't customize this - the apps that appear are predicted by the system based on your usage, so over time it will learn and hopefully!) get better at showing you apps that you're likely to want to use soon.

I don't have access to a Samsung phone to test with, but you can turn it completely off in stock Android 9. You can see screenshots here.

  1. Long-press on the home screen
  2. Tapping "Home Settings", then "Suggestions"
  3. Toggle "Apps" off

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