Add gesture controls like iPhone X or Android Pie to any Android phone with these apps

Posted: , by Preslav Kateliev Preslav Kateliev

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Add gesture controls like iPhone X or Android Pie to any Android phone with these apps
Gesture controls are the new deal — ever since manufacturers have begun switching to elongated screens and minimal bezels, there has been very little room on phones for any physical buttons. Apple completely eliminated the home button and new iPhones control only via swipes on the screen. Google has also taken note that its partner manufacturers are increasing the display area on their phones, and has dabbled in gesture controls with Android 9 Pie.

Especially on Android, having gesture controls carries the benefits of completely removing the virtual navbar that's located at the bottom of the screen, freeing up all that screen real estate for good. Well, that, and it's also a fresh new thing to try.

There are a bunch of apps over at the Play Store that will let you add a gesture control overlay over your Android UI. Pretty awesome indeed. All of the apps we are about to present are capable of removing your native virtual bar. But to do so — slight geekiness warning here — you will need to grant them permission by hooking the phone to your PC via a USB cable and running Android Debugger (adb). Stay with us here, this is not "rooting" and it's not too complicated to do. All of the apps on the list will tutor you through the process, though, we feel that the first app on the list (Fluid Navigation Gestures) has the most comprehensive tutorial. So, start there if you are feeling unsure.

Without further ado, here are the best apps that give you gesture control over your Android phone right now:

Fluid Navigation Gestures



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This app will allow you to add — and fully customize — a bunch of swiping gestures. It can read out swipes from the left edge and right edge of the device, as well as three separate zones along the bottom border of the screen. Each zone can activate two functions — one is enabled when you quickly flick your finger along it, the other is activated by a swipe and hold.

All in all, this is a very good app to emulate the iPhone X controls with a very prominent Android twist to them.

X Home Bar



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At first look, this app gives the impression that it's going to mimic the iPhone X's gestures, but that's not exactly true. It will put a home bar at the bottom of your display that acts a lot more like Android 9 Pie's pill button than anything from iOS. So, pulling the pill up is "home", while swiping it to the left or right activates "back" and "recent apps" respectively. Additionally, you can add actions when you simply tap on it once or double-click it, though these are behind a Pro paywall.

Navigation Gestures



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Distributed by XDA Developers — the community well-known for tons of Android mods and utility apps — this app is a lot like the one above, but it adds a lot more gestures, should you want them, and also allows you to split the homebar into three areas!

So, to start off, it gives you a pill-shaped gesture bar. Tap on it like a home button and it'll bring you home. It can also read double-taps and tap-and-hold. If you swipe the pill left, it reads as "back", while swiping to the right, you get the recent apps carousel. Again, you can program functions for swipe-and-hold, as well as swiping up or down on the pill.

To top it off, you can choose to split the pill in 3 different areas. This makes it a long stripe running across the bottom of your screen. Each section of the stripe — left, center, and right — can have its own set of gestures, letting you activate a total of 14 different commands with taps and swipes on different areas of your screen.

Swiftly Switch



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Now here's a fun app. Swiftly Switch will add bars along the left and right sides of your screen (1 bar on free version). Swiping inwards will expand your current bar to reveal favorite apps, recent apps, navigation controls, and favorite toggles. Just drag your finger to your desired app or function and release and it'll get activated. It's highly customizable both in terms of apps displayed and control behavior. But if you want a different take on gestures that is absolutely unlike the currently-popular trends, this one has it.

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