Android

Pro tip: Add call pop-ups to keep Android apps from closing during incoming calls

Looking for a way to answer or ignore incoming calls without always losing your app? Jack Wallen introduces you two options that should handle the task.

Call pop-up

There are times when you're using an app and a call comes in. When that happens, the phone app gets precedence, and whatever you were using is sent into memory. Maybe you'll get that app back in exactly the state it was in... or maybe not. If you happen to have an LG device, and you're running Android 4.4 (aka KitKat), there's a special setting you can use to turn incoming calls into a simple, elegant pop-up that allows you to answer, send the caller a message, or ignore the incoming call. Should you answer the call, the full-blown phone app then takes over the screen. However, if you ignore the call, the pop-up will disappear and you'll return to the app you were using.

This feature isn't enabled by default, but it's fairly simple to set (once you know where to look). With that in mind, let's turn this feature on so you can keep using those apps on your LG phone when a call comes in.

I'll demonstrate on the Verizon-branded LG G3. Here are the steps to enable the incoming call pop-up:

  1. Open up Settings
  2. Tap on the Networks tab
  3. Tap Call (Figure A)
  4. Under Incoming Call, tap the check box for Incoming voice call pop-up

Figure A

Figure A

Enabling the incoming call pop-up on an LG G3.

Now, when working with an app and a call comes in, you'll see a simple pop-up (Figure B) that allows you to act on the call.

Figure B

Figure B

The LG call popup in action.

My only complaint about this is that the developers should include an option to remain within the pop-up for the duration of the call -- but that is probably beyond the ability of the pop-up.

If you're looking for a way to add this type of feature to your non-LG phone, take a look at the Call PopOut app in the Google Play Store. This app works on some HTC phones, plus most Samsung, Lenovo, and Sony devices. When an incoming call arrives, a small icon appears at the bottom of the screen (Figure C). Tap that icon to reveal options for answering the call, ignoring the call, ignoring the call with a message, or muting the incoming call.

Figure C

Figure C

When an incoming call arrives, a small icon appears at the bottom of the screen.

Is multi-tasking becoming a more important feature for your mobile device? If so, how have you managed to succeed in achieving that goal? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

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