Easily Customize Your Android Smartphone Buttons

Easily Customize Your Android Smartphone Buttons

Today’s Android smartphones are becoming thinner and more coherent, with glass and metal being the choice of materials. The headphone jack has been removed from many popular flagships this year. Before this trend, physical buttons were the first to be removed for various reasons. I remember the two-stage shutter button on my Sony phone, which let me focus on the subject and then take the picture. Since the rise of Android, the standard configuration on every phone has been the combination of power-volume buttons and navigation keys.

Many newer phones now use one screen nav keys, putting traditional buttons at risk. But buttons have more uses than you might think. Just ask someone whose power button has malfunctioned.

By default, Android doesn’t offer many options for configuring button functions. This feature is primarily available in custom UIs and requires root access. However, flar2’s Button Mapper app provides a simple and accessible solution for everyone, without the need for root access.

The App: Button Remapper

Easily Customize Your Android Smartphone ButtonsEasily Customize Your Android Smartphone Buttons

This app is available in both free and paid versions. The free version has some disabled features, but it is recommended to upgrade for just $0.99. The UI is simple enough for normal users. The upper part contains all the buttons, and the bottom half has miscellaneous extras.

Configuring the Buttons

The three activities you can change for each button are Single Tap, Double Tap, and Long Press. You can assign an action, application, or shortcut to each activity.

See also  How to Collect Photos of a Trip Using Picasa Web Album

Please note that the Power Button and on-screen Nav-keys cannot be configured.

A phone with only Volume buttons can be customized for a total of six actions (three for each button). Not bad at all! Now, let’s see how you can do this.

Easily Customize Your Android Smartphone ButtonsEasily Customize Your Android Smartphone Buttons

The actions range from simple toggles like play/pause, WiFi On/Off, Lock/Unlock to more complex tasks like linking a Tasker intent. This app can also switch the layout of the Recent & Back keys, which is useful if your phone has physical Nav-keys but you are not accustomed to the layout.

Easily Customize Your Android Smartphone ButtonsEasily Customize Your Android Smartphone Buttons

The app offers options to change button-related settings. Lockscreen Peek feature allows you to turn off the screen using the Home button.

You can also change the order of Volume keys based on the phone orientation.

Additionally, you can modify timings for Double Tap & Long Press and bypass the app in certain apps like Dailer or Camera. However, there are a few quirks to iron out. Sometimes the buttons do not execute assigned actions and once I had to uninstall the app to restore normality as the buttons started behaving strangely. This can be attributed to the app being in Beta during testing.

Closing Thoughts

Regarding the competition, there is another app named Button Remapper that performs the same function without requiring root access. However, its user interface is not as polished and it lacks some features.

Easily Customize Your Android Smartphone ButtonsEasily Customize Your Android Smartphone Buttons

In my opinion, there isn’t a better app for this task and my $0.99 have gone to the developer. And if you don’t want to spend, the free version is equally apt. In future versions, I hope the developer adds support for the alert-slider on my OnePlus 3T and for headset buttons. Please share your thoughts and views through comments.

Leave a Comment