#MobileLife: Bringing Gesture Control to Your Android Phone Without Paying a Premium

Most of the phones launched this year have tried to highlight gesture based software enhancements. While the phone makers will have you thinking that these are unique features, there are a number of third-party apps which bring the same functionality to most Android phones.
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If 2012 was all about Android phones trying to outdo each other with higher specifications and bigger screen sizes and camera megapixel, the trend so far in 2013 is that smartphone makers are trying to pack in that extra software feature as they try to distinguish themselves in what is already an overcrowded market. Bloatware, some of us call it.

Most of the phones launched this year have tried to highlight gesture based software enhancements. There is the Samsung Galaxy S4 which among other things pauses a video when you look away, the Moto X that is always listening to you and can launch the camera app in an instant and the Micromax Canvas 4 which has a feature which lets you blow to unlock the phone. Lava introduced the Lava Iris 504q which it touted has the first Indian gesture based phone.

While these phone makers will have you thinking that these are unique features, there are a number of third-party apps which bring the same functionality to most Android phones. We take a look at a few of them which will have you waving and using gestures to control your smartphone.

Note: Some of these apps may require a certain minimum hardware requirement and so check compatibility before you download the app. Also you may not be able to load multiple apps together since most use the same gestures.

control-mobile-phone-with-gestures

Wave your hands to answer a call or unlock your phone

If you’re driving or your hands are dirty from eating some delicious, trying to answer a call is probably not the best idea. Air Call Accept allows you to easily answer or reject a phone call by just waving your hand over the screen. You can also answer a call by just placing it next to your ear.

Magic Unlock is an app which allows you to unlock your screen by hovering your hands above it so that you can easily check if you have received any notifications etc.

Air Swiper

Air Swiper is one of the most feature rich apps in this set. This application allows you to work more effectively and faster with your phone. It has a number of features including unlocking and locking the device, controlling SMSes and sound controls. You can also turn Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on or off with simple motions.

Hovering Controls

This app allows you to do a whole lot without touching the screen. Hovering Controls costs $1.34 and and you can set it up to launch predetermined apps by hovering over the sensor, swiping once, or swiping twice. Some of the things you can do with this app include silencing an alarm, controlling media playback like videos or photos with just gestures. The app has two modes. The Target mode which opens a pre-determined app with a set gesture and the carousel mode, which allows you to select from a set list of apps.

Open an app with just a flick of your wrist

Twisty Launcher makes opening any app fun. All you need to do is hold your phone in your hand and flick to the left twice to open a pre-determined app. You can use this app to quickly launch the camera so you don’t miss a beautiful moment or to quickly open up the call app. The app looks for the motion in the background so you can perform the gesture from inside any app. The app allows you to configure three apps for three different gestures. This app definitely looks like it was inspired by the camera opening motion of the Moto X.

Scribble to open any app

Google Gesture Search is an app that has been around for some time and even though it requires you to actually touch the screen it is a really useful app. The app allows users to quickly access contacts, applications, settings, music and bookmarks on your Android device by just drawing letters or numbers on the screen. The app is self learning and becomes more useful the more you use it.

Trigger Limited

This app is a highly personalized Gesture Launcher. The free ad-supported version of Trigger Limited allows up to a maximum of six gestures which can be customized. A trigger icon remains on top of every app which opens a gesture field for you to draw pre-created gestures which will open the respective app. Pulling the Trigger in a particular directions will activate a pre-set action.

Always present app drawer

This is a side launcher that is always present so that you can easily open any app and easily helps you to save time. The side launcher was a key feature when the original Samsung Galaxy Note launched. Using Swapps a user will have a full app drawer which can be swiped out at any time and then a user can easily switch to another app. A great part about this app is that it allows you to customize the swipe area.

Blow to Unlock

If you thought this feature was reserved for just the Canvas 4, you are highly mistaken. The very same app is present in the Play Store has miUnlock. The app allows you to unlock the phone by blowing on the screen. It also allows you to unlock the phone by shaking it. While this app is great for fun and to show off it does not really serve any security purpose.

I am sure you going to be trying out these cool apps. Which one appeals to you the most and why? Do leave a quick review in the comments. Do you know of more such apps? Do share with us.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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