Tutorial Setup for Easier One Handed Operation...try Swipepad + Nova Launcher!

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By anoneemooz, Senior Member on 27th December 2012, 11:29 AM
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At the end of this tutorial you should have something like this:

Essentially, I swipe my thumb from the upper right side of my phone (I'm right handed) and I have access to this:

and can just drag my thumb over whatever app I want to get to right away...

I can then swipe my thumb from the lower right side of my phone and have access to these:

Of course, this is my you can do something similar or not, but you get the idea. You can use whatever hotspots you choose too. If you want a set up like mine with many apps to access and different pads for different hotspots, you need the [B]More Space add on[/B (paid)].

1. Swipepad

Swipepad is the second best app in the world for me in terms of how useful it is in terms of general smartphone use (first would be Titanium Backup hehe)

It's free with paid add ons. The free version works perfectly fine for me. I just got the More Space add on for..more space and more swipe pads haha and to support and give thanks for such an awesome app. If you want to have more than 1 pad though, you'd need the more space add on.

Essentially, you choose whatever hot spot/s you want (which are invisible), you can adjust the size of the hot spot to make it easier/harder to trigger too... You can then swipe from those hot spots and your swipe "pad" shows up. In your swipe pad, you get to put whatever apps or shortcuts of your choosing.

The hot spots are accessible no matter what app or game you happen to be in (be careful not to put it somewhere that could get in the way of your games though).

Paid add ons: Keypad, Widgetpad, More space. None are necessary for this tutorial but would be super useful for you.

2. Nova Launcher (or whatever launcher you prefer that has similar shortcuts)

Nova Launcher is an alternative launcher based on the AOSP 4.2 launcher. Very similar to Apex (I don't use Apex so I don't know if you can do something like this with it though). I don't know about other launchers either though they probably have some similar way of doing this.

3. Optional awesome floating apps to use in conjunction with this...I highly recommend AirCalc (free) and Floating Notes 2 (or similar floating note type apps..there are several out there, both paid and free)

1. Download the needed apps

2. Make Nova Launcher your default launcher app. Set it up however you want. Skip this if you already have your launcher set up the way you like it.

3. Go to Swipepad, you should be greeted with a tutorial but it's pretty simple to use.
- You'll probably see a red bar somewhere on your screen. This is the default hotspot location which you are free to change later on. The hotspot is invisible once you exit the app.

4. Under the GENERAL tab...
- Check "Enable SwipePad"
- Check "Indicator icon in Status Bar" - This keeps it always running. No affect on battery life, I promise.
- If you don't like having the indicator icon visible, feel free to check the "Transparent Icon" option though it might bother you that there is a random empty space among your notification icons.
- Other options like "Haptic Feedback", "Sound on Launch" or whatever are optional. They work as described.

5. Under the HOTSPOTS tab...
- You'll see an option to change the size of the hotspots, the default works fine for me but my thumb is quite flexible and muscle memory has made it super easy for me to swipe from the spot each time without missing. You probably won't need to change this unless you find you're having a hard time swiping from it. But trust me, it gets easier after the first few times you use it.
- You'll see a list of hotspot positions. Choose a hotspot/s of choice.

6. Select Default Pad. The other options require paid add ons.

7. Customize your SwipePad!
- To customize your swipepad, swipe from the hotspot you chose (it should now be shown in red). For as long as you have your thumb on the screen, you can see your pad. Just drag your thumb to whatever portal, the portal you're hovering on will turn orange (if its empty), lift your thumb off the screen, then you'll be able to choose what you want to put in it.
  • If you want to simply put applications, then just select applications, and choose your app of choice for that portal. Do the same for the other portals.
  • You can hide unwanted portals as well.
  • If you want to put shortcuts such as particular app activities, bookmarks, a particular contact, direct dial, direct message, whatever other app shortcuts..then select shortcuts and choose from there
  • Other functions like "Home", "All Apps" and "Context Panel" are also pretty useful.
    • Home - takes you straight to your desktop.
    • All Apps - shows you something like a drawer (non customizable) of all your apps sorted by either title or by recent use. You can also search for a particular app from there too.
    • Context Panel - takes you to some special functions for whatever you app you are using.
    > You can share the app (as a playstore link)
    > Go to the app's Google Play page
    > View Application Info (force stop, enable/disable notifications, disable the app, clear data, clear cache, clear defaults, view permissions)
    > Force stop the app
    > Uninstall it
  • To change a portal link you have already set, just hold your thumb or finger over that portal for a few seconds, it will be highlighted orange (instead of blue) and then you can change it.

You can stop at 7 if you're happy with just shortcuts to apps and whatnot, but if you want portals to link to showing the Notification Drawer, your App Drawer (customized), Recent Apps, Search, etc... then keep reading

8. To have portals link to showing your Notification Drawer, custom launcher's App Drawer, Recent Apps..and all that jazz. Do step 7, choose a portal, select Shortcuts, select Nova Launcher. You will then see a list of shortcuts to Nova Launcher's functions such as App Drawer, Expand Notifications, Recent Apps, Search, Voice Search, Nova Settings..the others (like Toggle Notification Bar, Dock, etc.) won't work if you're inside another app.

Tada! Now whenever you want to access your swipepad, just swipe from the hotspot/s you chose, drag your thumb or finger over whatever portal you want (it will be highlighted blue when you hover over it), then lift your thumb or finger off~

9. You can easily access and change stuff around in SwipePad by accessing it from its Notification. You can also customize and change portals around even if you're not in the Swipepad app itself. You just need to open the app to start it up initially and it will always run from then on until you disable it again. Again, this won't affect battery life at all and doesn't use much RAM at all.

10. If you do get the More Space add on, you can create a new pad and have a different set of shortcuts on that pad..As you can see from the screenshot, I made a second pad entitled "Quick" to access stuff like Apps Drawer, Notifications etc. You can do this by doing step 5, then selecting "Add More", you will be prompted to type a name for the new pad. Then do 5 again, and select that newly created pad.
- You can change the number of portals per pad under the ADD-ONS tab in the SwipePad app. 4x3, 4x4, 5x3, 5x4, 6x3, 6x4 are the other size options. Again, you can hide portals you don't need to create the perfect size for you. 6x4 is the maximum though.
- You can also backup and restore all your pads too.

Hope you found this helpful and that you get inspired to create your own set ups from this tutorial of mine. Best of luck! Feel free to ask any questions.

Suggested shortcuts:
- Notification drawer (no need to try and reach it with your thumb or have to use your other hand to pull it down)
- Home (save your home button!)
- Recent Apps (save your home button!)
- Torch
- Camera
- Direct call/message your usual contacts..or just a shortcut to your SMS and Phone apps
- Screenshot
- Volume settings (under shortcuts -> settings shortcuts)..there's probably a way to access this (and brightness) immediately without going to their respective setting screens. I'm lazy to find out how now lol
- Brightness (under shortcuts -> settings shortcuts)
- Browser
- Note taking or voice recording apps
- Aircalc, floating notes/stickies, a floating browser, etc.
- Home
- App drawer (or All Apps)
- Context panel
- Quick post


The most recent updates to the Swipepad and Morespace addon have added many new features that allow for MUCH easier editing of you can move them around, there's a dedicated portal editor interface, unhide hidden portals individually, customize app icon label position (hidden, above, below icon), even more grid options etc..

Definitely worth checking out, IMHO. I know there are contenders out there such as swapps and sidebar, but I find Swipepad to be the most polished and straightforward.
Last edited by anoneemooz; 6th May 2013 at 11:08 PM.
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27th December 2012, 01:14 PM |#2  
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Agreed. Swipepad is one of the three most important Android app for me. The other two are GMD Gesture Control and Tasker. These 3 apps are the reason i can never go back to iPhone.
4th January 2013, 03:28 AM |#3  
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Originally Posted by hotelier1984

Agreed. Swipepad is one of the three most important Android app for me. The other two are GMD Gesture Control and Tasker. These 3 apps are the reason i can never go back to iPhone.


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4th January 2013, 12:38 PM |#4  
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how can I get back a tab that has been hidden?
6th January 2013, 07:49 AM |#5  
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Originally Posted by evanovici

how can I get back a tab that has been hidden?

Under the General tab inside the Swipepad app..I believe there's an option to unhide all portals
6th January 2013, 06:44 PM |#6  
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LMT pie controls work great for me.
6th January 2013, 08:37 PM |#7  
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Looks nice but I personally love the simplicity of Button Savior. I can set what icons to show / and how long it will show. When I click that little arrow, the buttons show up for 1 second before disappearing. With the new update, the sizes are even smaller and more discreet.

12th January 2013, 05:27 AM |#8  
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For me using a android phone without swipe pad is a pain, n for phone as big as note it's indispensable, u can also add simple redial, a free app,
But on the downside this app is vry slow on updates (features) need to add many features which will eventually make it a complete launcher app,
One great feature could be live widgets on the pad, I fear if it's even remotely possible, but if done I wud never use my launcher anu more as I open all apps from Google search assigned to a spot

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12th January 2013, 10:07 AM |#9  
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Originally Posted by hotelier1984

Agreed. Swipepad is one of the three most important Android app for me. The other two are GMD Gesture Control and Tasker. These 3 apps are the reason i can never go back to iPhone.

Rofl. First the iPhone has gesture mods and the GMD Gesture Control app's idea is taken from iPad. Jeez!

Swyped from my GT-N7100
12th January 2013, 02:06 PM |#10  
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Originally Posted by jujuburi

Rofl. First the iPhone has gesture mods and the GMD Gesture Control app's idea is taken from iPad. Jeez!

Swyped from my GT-N7100

Hate to tell you, but android had gesture apps long before the first iPad even came out.
12th January 2013, 04:05 PM |#11  
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great thread with an awesome app find. thank you!

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