One of my favourite features in the new Pixel 2 range is the Active Edge gesture, which allows you to summon the Google Assistant from anywhere with a simple squeeze on the sides of the phone. It’s rather neat, but here’s a hint of Bixby about it, because while Google lets the end user turn the feature off, it can’t be re-mapped to anything else. On the HTC U11, which is where the feature came from, you can summon the camera, and that’s something Pixel 2 users are already asking for.
Rather than wait for Google to do it (which, let’s face it, they might), enterprising developers have taken advantage and stepped in to let users have their way today. Without modification, the gesture to launch Google Assistant is somewhat hardcoded, as XDA Developers explains:
Google hardcoded SystemUI to only allow squeeze to work when the current assistant app is set to Google Assistant. That means that developers would have to use a combination of an Accessibility Service and reading system logs in order to detect when the user squeezes their phone so they can hide Google Assistant and instead perform a user-defined action.
That’s exactly what the latest update to Button Mapper by flar2 does. You can remap the Active Edge feature to launch pretty much whatever you want, from the Camera to Assistant, or maybe you’re an avid SnapChatter? Whatever your fancy, you can do it now. Here’s how it looks:
The process is pretty simple. Install Button Mapper, enable the Accessibility Service so it can see what’s happening on your phone, and then use ADB to run a quick command to give it access. It’s not super hard, and the instructions are in-app ready to follow.
If you’ve got a Pixel 2, or you’re about to, you can grab Button Mapper here and get started.