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How to Use Trigger to Control Android with Gestures

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Launchers. They’re not exactly in short supply in Google Play. While there are many to choose from, each with a slightly different approach to things, they all tend to work in the same general way. The same cannot be said of Trigger, which makes it possible to put your device’s touchscreen to the best possible use by using gestures to launch apps, access settings and more.

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This is not the first time a gesture launcher has been developed to help ease the chore of getting programs up and running. Windows users have tools such as StrokesPlus that enables mouse gestures to be used as triggers, and Google Gesture Search brings gestured –based searching to Android.

Trigger takes this further, making it possible to assign more actions to gestures. The concept is a simple one, but it is simultaneously revolutionary and a great time saver. With a quick gesture, you can toggle features such as Bluetooth and wifi, launch specific apps or do things like compose a new text message or email.

To start a gesture you can opt to either press the trigger (calling up a hotzone in which gestures can be drawn), or pull it to a hotspot to trigger an action. The trigger icon need not be displayed at all times and you can call it up whenever you need it – just hit the search button, shake your phone or access it form the notification bar. Or of course, you can leave it on permanent display.

There’s a brief introductory tutorial to walk through, and you can then start setting up your own gestures and actions. Start by selecting the type of action that should be triggered by a gesture – Apps lets you launch apps, Settings provides access to system settings, etc – and then tap the + button.

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Depending on which section you have chosen you will then need to select the app, setting, web site or action that this trigger should launch. Make your selection by tapping the list and then draw the gesture that is to be used in the scratch pad and then tap the tick button.

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Obviously it’s going to be difficult to perfectly replicate a particular gesture every time you want to use it so it’s a good idea to practice. You should run through the Gesture Test to configure the level of sensitivity and accuracy you want to use.

Draw your gesture in the scratch pad and it will be rated by the app. Initially, you are working towards an accuracy level of 2.0, but you can increase or decrease this using the < and > buttons as you see fit.

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There is a wealth of gestures that can prove immensely useful. If you need a quick way to enter airplane mode, or to add a new calendar event Trigger can be used to reduce these common tasks to a quick gesture.

To make some actions even easier to access, swipes can also be used. Head to Settings in the apps and scroll to the Swipe Effects section. Tap one of the compass directions and then indicate what should happen when the Trigger icon is dragged in that direction.

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Trigger is available in two varieties. The free version is ad supported and imposes a limit of six gestures, while the paid-for version removes both of these limitations.

Let us know how you get on in the comments below.

Mark Wilson is a software fiend and a fan of the new, shiny and intriguing. Never afraid to get his hands dirty with some full-scale geekery, he’s always trying out the latest apps, hacks and tweaks. He can be found on Twitter and Google+.

  • Published 02/27/13

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