Enable gestures on your Android tablet

When you hold in your hand 10 inches of touch sensitive glass it does seem a little unnecessary to have to open and navigate through a menu just to activate something that should be but a simple swipe away. This is one of the occasions where Apple got something right. However pinching to go home is but the beginning of your new gesture-based experience.

Gesture Control App for Android - Screenshot 1
Customise gestures to your linking.

First up glide your way over to the Play Store and download the free version of Gesture Control (known as Gesture Control Lite). This will allow you to make sure that it works on your tablet. If it works the bad news is that the full-version of the app does run at a rather high AU$4.86 (at time of writing) the good news is that the full-version of the app does run.

The app is fairly simple to use but there are a few things that may go wrong. As mentioned you need a rooted Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich tablet (or handset) with a recent version of BusyBox (chances are that your rooted ROM already includes it but if not search for BusyBox on the Play Store) and if you’re running ICS it’s recommended to use SuperSU rather than Superuser. Again this is installable from the Play Store.

All done? Installed? Ready? Good. Enabling gestures on your tablet is as simple as running the app.

As standard the app enables a two-finger downward swipe as ‘back’; a two-finger upward swipe to show/hide the status bar (full-screen games FTW); a four-finger swipe left/right to switch to the previous/next application; Apple’s very own four-finger pinch to go home; and a four-finger expansion (anti-pinch?) will open ‘LaunchPad’ which gives you access to a list of your favourite applications selectable from the ‘LaunchPad’ tab in the app itself.

You can change any of the existing gestures or create your own custom gesture with any gesture allowing you – in addition to the above functions – to: start an application; kill the current application; open the recent application dialog/list; activate the ‘Menu’ button; open the notification drawer; start a launcher shortcut (bookmark contacts settings etc); go forward in the browser; play/pause/previous/next media; start a Tasker task; pause gestures; exit gesture control or turn the screen off/lock the device. To do this simply open the ‘Custom Gestures’ tab and touch the ‘Create new gesture’ button. Gestures are specified in terms of the number of fingers used and can consist of any combination of left right up down and diagonals.

Gesture Control App for Android - Screenshot 2
Create a new gesture and give it a name.

As with any hack like this it may not work perfectly out of the box. However there are a heap of troubleshooting options available under the ‘Advanced’ tab. For a run-down of common issues as well as the best way to contact support be sure to visit the official support thread here

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