Quickly Access Apps and Shortcuts With Custom Gestures for Android

Judy Sanhz 16-06-2017

Wouldn’t it be great if you could turn off your phone’s screen just by swiping down from the top of your display? Or access your recent apps by swiping in from the right? These shortcuts would allow you to use your Android smartphone or tablet in a whole new way.


You can decide what gestures trigger what result, giving you full control over your device. Here are a few apps that will let you setup these kinds of gestures.

1. All In One Gestures [No Longer Available]

One of the many custom gestures you can create with All In One Gestures is taking a screenshot The 5 Best Ways to Take a Screenshot on Any Android Phone We show you how to take a screenshot on Android. Choose between default shortcuts and apps to capture your Android phone. Read More without touching a single button. Say goodbye to the classic two-button combination that many Android users have had to deal with.

To create this custom gesture, open the app and make sure that you’re in the Swipe tab. Tap on Enable and choose the area you’ll need to swipe to take the screenshot. Once it’s selected, choose screenshot, and you’ll see a grayish area appear in the place that you chose. That’s where you need to swipe to take your screenshot.

all in one gestures create screenshot

You can also create custom gestures by using the hard keys and the status bar on your Android device as well. Holding the home button could turn off the screen, or double-tapping the back button could kill the app you’re using.


Download — All In One Gestures (Free)

2. Quickify – Gesture Shortcut

With Quickify, you can quickly open any app or feature on your phone regardless of what you’re viewing. Are you viewing your phone’s gallery but need to switch over to WhatsApp to send a message? First, set up the custom gesture by tapping on the plus sign in the top right, then draw your gesture.

quickify custom gesture whatsapp

Tap on the Application option and choose WhatsApp (or any other app you want). You should now see your masterpiece on the list of created custom gestures.


Simply repeat the process if you want to add a custom gesture to open a URL, open an app, make a call, send a text message, or a toggle a certain feature on your phone.

DownloadQuickify (Free)

3. Nova Launcher

Nova Launcher will not only let you add the custom gestures you want, but it can also change the way your phone looks as well by replacing your standard launcher What Is the Best Free Android Launcher? Nova launcher, Apex launcher, and dodol launcher are all solid free launchers, but which is the best? We put them to the test. Read More . Once it’s installed, open the app and go to Settings > Gestures & inputs > Gestures.

nova launcher gestures inputs


The actions that can be performed are nicely organized into three tabs: Nova, apps, and shortcuts.

In the Nova tab, you can create custom gestures to open the app drawer, lock the screen, open recent apps, or do other similar functions. With the Apps tab, you can assign certain gestures to open specific apps.

The Shortcuts tab allows you to assign a gesture to actions such as making a call What Is the Best Contacts & Dialer App for Android? You don't have to settle for your phone's built-in contacts and dialer apps. Read More , opening a specific site in your browser, or creating a spreadsheet, etc. Unfortunately, some of these are “Prime” features, meaning that you’ll have to upgrade to Nova Prime to access them.

DownloadNova Launcher (Free)
DownloadNova Launcher Prime ($4.99)


4. Dolphin Web Browser

In addition to being a generally customizable browser 5 Simple Ways to Choose the Best Mobile Browser for You Choosing a browser for your mobile device, whether Android or iOS -- which one do you choose? If your head spins from the variety of mobile browser options, then ask yourself these five questions. Read More , Dolphin is also home to some fantastic custom gestures. To start creating them, open the browser and tap on the gray dolphin at the bottom. Tap on the cog wheel in the bottom right and choose the Gesture and Sonar option.

dolphin accessing gestures sonar

If you want a gesture to open a site, type in the URL, then press the Add+ option. You can either accept the gesture that has already been created or you can create your own by tapping on the Redo button.

In the More Actions section, you can change other gestures that have already been created or you can make your own. For example, you can create custom gestures for closing all tabs, accessing your browser history, opening your most visited sites, and more.

dolphin applying custom gestures

Using these gestures is simple. When you open the browser, just long-press on the gray dolphin and slide upwards and to the left. When the new window appears, draw the gesture you created, and you’re good to go.

DownloadDolphin Browser (Free)

5. Gravity Gestures

Gravity Gestures works a little differently than the other apps on this list. Instead of drawing on the screen, you simply rotate your wrist with the phone in your hand. Those with modern Motorola devices like the amazing Moto G4 Plus Moto G4 Plus Review Motorola has been the leader of the budget phone realm ever since they came out with their Moto G line, but the new Moto G4 Plus has taken things to the next level. Read More have used a similar feature called Moto Gesture.

When you first download Gravity Gestures, you’ll be taken through all the gestures you can set up. When the tutorial is done, you can toggle on the Gravity Gesture service. To create a custom gesture, tap on the red button in the bottom right and choose the gesture you want to use.

gravity gestures access four gestures

You can choose between X-rotation, Y-rotation, Z-rotation, and Shake. After that, choose an action such as toggling the flashlight, activating a voice assistant 10 Things You Didn't Know Google Assistant Could Do Android's version of Siri---Google Assistant---is more powerful than most people realize. Read More , opening a website, making a call, toggling Bluetooth, etc.

If you experience problems with the app not recognizing your gestures, you can modify its sensitivity in the settings. Tap on the sensitivity option and choose between high, medium, or low. The highest setting will make the gestures easier to do, but could result in accidental activations.

DownloadGravity Gestures (Free)

What Custom Gestures Do You Use?

Creating custom gestures on your Android device is easy and can help you save valuable time. Now you can navigate around your smartphone or tablet with some slick gestures.

You’ve seen various ways you can create your own gestures, but new methods emerge every day. Do you use a custom gesture app that is not on the list? Do you have a particular gesture that you rely on daily? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

Related topics: Android, Android Customization, Gesture Control.

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