Since the iPhone X entered the market, the missing home button and new gesture controls have gained a lot of attention. Gesture controls allow you to navigate your smartphone without touching any physical buttons. Those using the new iPhone don’t have a choice. If you want the new phone, you will only use gestures.
For Android users, using gestures is an option but not the only one. Android is not getting rid of the home button just yet, but you may still want to use gestures for various tasks such as navigation, multitasking, adjusting the settings, or enabling quick access to all the apps, menus and options you use most.
The following apps are three of the best for adding gesture navigation to your Android phone. The apps are all either paid apps or ones that seem worth the small cost to upgrade to the pro versions.
1. Navigation Gestures by XDA
When you open the Navigation Gestures app you’ll go through a series of screens to set up the program.
One thing all these apps have in common is the requirement to enable them in the Accessibility settings on your phone. Their setup screens make it easy.
In the gestures settings you choose a gesture, such as “Swipe Up and Hold.” To select an action to associate with the gesture, tap on the gesture you want to use and then choose from the list of displayed options. Many of these actions are not available unless you upgrade to the premium version for $0.99.
Change the appearance of the Pill (or the navigation bar) by choosing Appearances from the settings menu. There are options for the color of the pill as well as the size, transparency, and location on the screen.
The pill will hide in fullscreen apps unless you deactivate the option in Behavior settings. The opportunity to customize the swipe and hold time and the vibration duration is on this menu.
The Compatibility settings menu is pretty much filled with warnings not to change anything on the list unless absolutely necessary.
One scary thing about this app is the frequent reminders not to delete the app without disabling it first. If you decide to uninstall it down the road and forget this directive, you may lose all ability to navigate around your phone.
2. Gesture Control – Next Level Navigation by Conena
Gesture Control is a free app, but the upgrade to Pro may be worth the $3.49, depending on the features that interest you the most in a navigation gestures app.
To use the app, you first must enable it. Again, this program makes it very easy to do.
Most apps have similar options for pairing their gestures with different actions to personalize your experience. Here are some features Gesture Control has that Navigation Gestures did not have.
Gesture Control gives you the choice of locations on which to place the navigation bars. Place them either at the bottom, left or right sides of the screen. If you purchase the pro version, you will be able to have more than one navigation bar on your screen at one time.
When you select a gesture, a list of actions come up such as volume and brightness controls and even the ability to launch a specific application.
Gesture Control Pro also offers more variety of click gestures than the free version.
3. Edge Gestures by chYK
Edge Gestures is not a free app. It’s currently $1.99 in the Play Store.
With this app the default gives you all three bars: the bottom, right, and left. These bars can be activated on the screen at the same time.
Not only can you swipe the bars for various actions, but you can also add pie controls. Swiping pie controls will pop open circles to link activities to.
There are five slots available, and you can even choose to open a particular app.
Another companion app, called More Shortcuts, gives you even more available actions to select from using pie controls.
There are many options available beyond what you’ve seen here, but these have the most options of all the gestures apps in the Play Store. They are also all very recently updated, so there are no worries about having the software abandoned by the developers in the near future. Give one of these apps a try, or just use your home button. With Android, it’s still up to you.