Android: Google’s Pixel 2 came with a pretty cool if somewhat gimmicky feature: The ability to launch Google Assistant by simply squeezing the device. Now, one developer is bringing that same feature to your current Android phone.
SideSqueeze is a free new app on Google Play that let’s you squeeze your device to perform a preset action. You can grip your phone to return to the home screen, or set a long squeeze (hold it for a full second) to toggle auto-rotation on and off. The app comes loaded with different configurations, along with directions for how to set up the more complicated options.
It also goes far beyond what the Pixel 2 is capable of by letting you set different squeeze commands depending on the context. You can create one gesture for when the screen is on and another for when it’s off. And if you’re willing to pay $2.79 you’ll unlock the Pro mode, which adds extra gestures from the home screen or lock screen. It even let’s you adjust the required amount of pressure if it’s too sensitive or not sensitive enough.
The only major drawback is that SideSqueeze only works with Android phones that meet two main requirements. They need to be water-resistant and they need a barometric pressure sensor, both of which are thankfully pretty common in high-end smartphones. Combined, these two hardware features make it possible for your device to measure when it’s being squeezed and how hard.
You’ll also need to be running Android 7.0 or up, but that shouldn’t be an issue for any smartphone purchased in the past few years. Finally, the developer notes that they only tested the app on Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Note8, but as long as your phone meets all the other requirements it should work just fine.