Fancy having your most used apps accessible from your Notification tray? DIESEL The Most Used Apps is a free Android app that does just that. It lets you choose one or even two rows of your most used apps it will place in the Notification tray below your quick access to settings buttons. Here is how it works.
DIESEL The most used apps
Developer: Yogesh Dama
Download from Google Play
Install the app from Google Play, and as you run it for the first time it will ask you to enable the accessibility service for Diesel in your settings. From there, the menus are quite self-descriptive.
You can choose for Diesel to display Most Used Apps or Recent Apps in your notification tray. I opted for Most Used because you can’t have too many WhatsApp shortcuts in your phone.
You can customize how many apps should appear per row, with 8 being the max limit. You can also blacklist apps. You would want that in case you choose for Diesel to display the Recent apps, and wish for certain apps to never appear in that quick access area.
From there, the fun part begins. Diesel The Most Used Apps supports icon packs and the app itself comes with a series of funky shapes and a way to change the background color for the icons. Hearts, spades, apples, and hearts, folders and bags. Although some features of tweaking the icon looks may be locked to the premium version of the app. Otherwise, see the Themes menu in the app settings for the list of available themes for your icons in the free app.
At the top of Diesel’s Home tab you can see the area where you can pin the apps you wish to see in your notification tray, should you choose to pin the most used apps instead of a dynamic recents. Long-tap on an empty slot and choose an app from the list that pops up. You can choose apps or shortcuts from the regular list of your device’s available shortcuts – direct dial, message, music playlist, settings, you name it. You can customize the background color for the icons and the color of the icon label. The settings also let you hide notification from lockscreen, enable second row and choose a theme.
That is it. From now on Diesel’s red icon will reside in your notification tray, alas, there is no way to bypass that little nag for now. But when you slide down to display the full notification tray you will see your pre-configured shortcuts and quick access to apps.
One last feature worth noting is Diesel The Most Used Apps offers a usage statistics tab in its Home tab. It only keeps track of the apps that have been running since the moment Diesel was launched. So, for example, if you haven’t been using Diesel for a while and then turned it on, it will not display the stats for the period it has not been used.
A couple of technical notes – Diesel The Most Used Apps requires Android 4.1 and up. It also needs you to enable it in the accessibility settings; it supports icon packs for most popular launchers, auto-starts on reboot and has no ads. One thing I found that contradicts the description, though, “no Internet access” claim bumped into my firewall, which immediately detected the app tried to access the Internet once I launched it. The Permissions explicitly state it can access the network in full. Perhaps the app needs it to make IAPs possible, or to ask for a rating. Overall, however, the list of permissions is modest – IAPs, directly call numbers, run at startup and full network access.
Finally, task killers kill it and it does not come back to life unless you launch it manually, if you’ve been wondering.
Perhaps, smartphones with limited screen estate will benefit from it more than tablets, but that’s just my experience – your mileage may vary. If you like your home screen icon-less and minimalistic clean, Diesel The Most Used Apps will let you have your most used or recent apps in the notification bar and save that home screen nice and clean.
If, for whatever reason, these features sound like a good idea you can make use of, go ahead and try the app – most of its features are available for free.