In Android 7 Google decided to trim the recent apps switcher in down to approx. 5 apps, apparently to wide applause. This could have been made configurable, for instance by using the lock icons in the recent apps view, but was not. You can temporarily have more recent apps, but it fairly quickly shrinks back to 3-5 apps.

As I use more apps regularly this is a pain for me and my wearing home button, now carried over to Android 8.1.

So now I have to first search in recent apps, then go to the home screen and to the launcher. I could "make the home screen my recent apps overview", but in a last attempt to avoid that, does anybody know of an app that allows me to set the number of recent apps kept?

It could be as simple as a change that means if I click the padlock icon on an app in the switcher, then the app does not get removed from the switcher.

Or just allowing me to increase the number of recent apps to 10.

Thank you.

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    If root and Xposed are an option, Recents auto-removal override could solve this issue. – Izzy Sep 18 '18 at 12:54
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    Thank you! I would like to use a couple of banking apps, but I will look into it. Could you add as an answer so I can upvote? ;) – nsandersen Sep 19 '18 at 7:05
  • @Izzy - Ah, I see Xposed is not ready for Android 8.1, which I run. I didn't realise solutions might be low-level enough for the version to matter that much. I still think you deserve an upvote though! – nsandersen Sep 19 '18 at 10:53
  • Done that while adding some more details, as you mentioned banking apps which might refuse to work on rooted devices. – Izzy Sep 19 '18 at 19:14

If root and Xposed are an option, Recents auto-removal override could solve this issue.

Note that rooting might cause issues with some apps checking for root, so it might not be the best idea to root your device just for that. On the other hand, you could work around that using Magisk – which roots your device system-less (and is capable of hiding the fact from apps), plus allows you to install Xposed as Magisk module.

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    This is exactly what came to mind after reading up on your Xposed suggestion as I had previously looked into Magisk. Only problem so far is that I cannot flash the Magisk zip on my Lenovo P2 with Lineage OS 15.1 (Android 8.1). This gives error 1 where it cannot mount the /vendor and/or /system partitions. I think this is because I have a ROM supporting Project "Treble", which in turn needs a "Treble" TWRP or other recovery program for this to work. So next step is for me to find that.. – nsandersen Sep 20 '18 at 13:34
  • Magisk does support A/B partitions (which Treble uses). But your analysis is correct: the recovery (TWRP) must support that as well. If there's no official TWRP for your device, XDA is the place to check. Good luck! – Izzy Sep 20 '18 at 13:50
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    Got Magisk in there although with a few issues persisting settings. It appears the Xposed module version for Android 8.1 is still in beta - it doesn't work (yet). I'll give it a couple of months and check back. – nsandersen Sep 23 '18 at 19:15
  • Thanks @nsandersen – looking forward to your report in a few months then! – Izzy Sep 23 '18 at 19:23
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    This works! Although I have to disable the systemless Xposed module and reboot to pass SafetyNet checks, so I may select another answer if an easier solution becomes available. The problem appeared to be that Magisk and/or the systemless Xposed did not work with Lenovo's f2fs implementation - I had to change the /data partition format to ext4. – nsandersen Oct 8 '18 at 10:42

I will just mention that Android 9 can be set up to access the launcher quickly by two bottom-up swipes. For me that is the simplest/easiest "replacement".

Now that each recent app takes up most of the screen in the new horizontal recent apps view, it takes too long to scroll through them, even if it quickly removes all but the last 3-5 ones, so I might as well just go straight to the launcher.

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