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 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.
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.
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.
Download — Quickify (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. Once it’s installed, open the app and go to Settings > Gestures & inputs > Gestures.
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, 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.
4. Dolphin Web Browser
In addition to being a generally customizable browser, 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.
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.
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.
Download — Dolphin 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 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.
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, 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.
Download — Gravity 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.