How to achieve Apple's Reachability one-handed mode on your Android phone (root req'd)

How to achieve Apple's Reachability one-handed mode on your Android phone (root req'd)
With the giant for its 5.5" screen diagonal iPhone 6 Plus, Apple introduced a dedicated one-handed usage mode, called Reachability

The new regime is evoked by double-tapping the home key, and slides the top half of the interface down within the reach of your thumb, so you can easily key in that website or email address, and then the UI would spring right back up. 

It's a great way to use the top half of the screen, instead of having to stretch your thumb all the way up, risking to drop the phone. What about Android, though, can we have this feature there?

Meizu handsets already have something similar called SmartTouch, where you double-tap a small transparent circle, and the whole interface slides down, but what about others, or what about those that don't want anything to litter their screens, be it a small dot? 

Well, we all know how flexible Android is, especially if you root your device, and with a little bit of trickery you can get a feature very similar to Reachability up and running. Here's what needs to be done:

1. Install the Xposed framework on your rooted device, and download the One-Hand Mode module from the Play Store, then activate it and restart;

2. Play around with the One-Hand mode settings until you reach the desired height for the UI to slide down, putting a value only for the Top field: 

3. Using Tasker, set a shake up-down gesture as the initiator for the One-Hand Mode app, which will in turn slide the whole interface down to your preset height value. That's it - granted, setting this is not for the average user, and it won't make the phone smaller, but will make your life with it a lil' bit easier.

source: snorrski (XDA-Devs)



1. vincelongman

Posts: 5816; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Looks more like Samsung's/LG's one-handed mode to me The edge also goes across, instead of only the top coming down like in Reachability But doesn't seem to work as well as any of them The top bar hasn't even moved

2. vincelongman

Posts: 5816; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Oh wait, apparently that One-Hand Mode module app has been available since May last year, well before Reachability

4. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Yeah, this whole apple's the first to do everything is just.....yeah.

3. AJmeBOY

Posts: 34; Member since: Dec 16, 2011

Swype just released an update that allows you to 1. Left hand the keyboard 2. Right hand the keyboard 3. Split it for both sides 4. Move it anywhere on the screen 5. Embedded corresponding emoji's to the word you typed into the suggested word list. Check it out! It's great! and no Root required.

5. tedkord

Posts: 17514; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Since this has been out since early last year, maybe the story should be about how Apple achieved Android's reachability mode. Regardless, this is more similar to the vastly superior Samsung one handed mode.

6. Benoit

Posts: 57; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

it's not the same as Apple's reachability. It's more like what Samsung and LG have been making. In this mode, the entire application content will shrink to the bottom/right corner, making everything smaller (and arguably more difficult to click). It's not compatible with any application (since it overwrites the Activity class) such as games, or 2D/3D "canvas" fullscreen apps, and it is always on... With reachability, the application in never shrunk, the current view only slides to the bottom (thus only the top is reachable) and once you cliked or interacted, it goes back to displaying the entire app. it makes more sense since your application is never shrunk (and can take avantage of the big screen) and you only activate it when you want to click something at the top of the app (actually not so often). I would take reachability on my Xperia Z3 over this mod any day of the week. This is just an half-backed hack. It works, but it's not really satisfying...

7. tedkord

Posts: 17514; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Did you read where I stated that it was more similar to Samsung one handed mode? Samsung one handed mode is vastly superior to reachability in the iphone - with reachability, you still can't reach the far side of the screen. And, it's easier to access on a big phone, just a simple swipe out and in on the side of the screen, no reaching down to the button.

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