How to get Google Pixel 2's Active Edge squeeze gesture on any water-resistant Android smartphone

There is an app that enables squeeze gesture on water-resistant Android smartphones.

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One of the things that help Android OEMs differentiate their smartphones from others is the customizations they can add – be it software customizations or some cool features. HTC introduced ‘Edge Sense’ on the U11 smartphone which allows you to squeeze the sides of the device to perform different actions. For instance, you can gently squeeze the sides to open the camera app or a hard squeeze to start Google Assistant.

HTC does this by leveraging both software and hardware components. At first, the idea sounds cool and innovative, having the ability to access apps without unlocking the smartphone first. But a few days later, the feature feels nothing more than a gimmick. Google introduced a similar feature on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL by calling it ‘Active Edge’ and it essentially lets you summon the Google Assistant. If you’re the one who thought it would be cool to have such a feature on your smartphone, well, it is possible. But there are some caveats though.

A senior XDA member going by username ffolkes had an idea of creating an app that mimics the Active Edge feature, and he has successfully built it too. Called SideSqueeze, the app is available to download from the Play Store for free. But there is a paid version too priced at Rs 130, which unlocks few features and also works on the lock screen. The developer has tested it on the Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy Note 8 smartphones. But, ideally, the should work with smartphones that feature water resistance protection and a barometric pressure sensor.

When you first run the app, you need to go through the basic setup, which includes disabling battery optimizations for the app, followed by enabling the app to use Accessibility Services to monitor your actions. Once this is done, you do get a disclaimer – “do not press or squeeze your device hard as it may damage it.”

I tried it on the Galaxy Note 8, and it works pretty well. However, it needs a little bit of getting used to. Within the app, you can set the pressure threshold between 10 to 30 for level of hardness.

Among the available options, you can squeeze to go to Home, Toggle Split Screen, Play / Pause Media, Launch Camera App, Toggle Flashlight, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and much more. These options can work on both short and long press gestures.

If you have a smartphone that features water resistance and a barometer pressure sensor, do give it a try, and let us know if it worked for you. And for more such tips and tricks, you can visit our dedicated how-to section here.

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  • Published Date: March 22, 2018 1:28 PM IST