Plasmalite is a suite of handy things for Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+/Note8 devices, designed to make life easier. Originally started as a simple project to input the corresponding navbar button via swiping up, it has grown exponentially since then. Plasmalite is a hybrid design; consisting of both an app, and a shell backend dubbed the “PlasmaCore.” The app’s user-interface is divided into modules. Each module has its own screen that is accessible via the pullout-menu that runs along the left side of the app.
- Root not required
- Designed exclusively for the S8, S8+, and Note8
- Some features may work better with a bigger (wider) screen
- Adds a total of over 86 customizable triggers (SwipeUp: 35 + TopTap: 12 + Bixit: 11 + HardPress: 10 + AOD: 6 + General: 12)
- Individual vibration control for almost all triggers
- Can operate without accessibility services (back and recents will take longer to press, so this is not recommended - see FAQ question below for more details)
- If enabled, only the bare minimum accessibility services are requested. Plasmalite only needs this to issue the command to “press” Back, and Recents because unlike the Home button, they have no hardware equivalent. This means it doesn't cause lag.
- Works in Secure Folder (when auto-grant accessibility services is enabled)
- Designed to reduce false positives by detecting the acceleration of your swipe. This means a slow swipe up won’t do anything, thus allowing you to open a hidden navbar, etc.
- A multitude of shortcuts to make life easier (more detail in the following sections)
- Works best with the navbar hidden or removed (via 0px mods found elsewhere)
- Make better use of your screen - gives you added screen real-estate, since toggling the status bar can be done with one easy gesture. As a result, it also helps prevent AMOLED burn-in in those areas.
- No ads. Ugh, I hate ads.
- REQUIRES your ability to run a command via ADB
What can it do?
- SwipeUp (left, center, right, left-left (diagonal), left-right (diagonal), center-left (diagonal), center-right (diagonal), right-left (diagonal), right-right (diagonal), center wide-press, 2-fingers up left side, 2-fingers up home, 2-fingers up right side, 1-finger up both sides, left corner (either corner can be set to automatically switch to Input Method Chooser while the keyboard is open), right corner, both corners, corner horizontal swipe left, corner horizontal swipe right, 3-fingers up, double-tap bottom edge when screen is on to power off)
- SwipeUp & Hold adds more functionality (long-hold – left, center, right; longer-hold – left, center, right; longest-hold – left, center, right; bump swipes – left, center, right)
- SwipeUp High adds even more (swipe up to at least the middle of the screen – left, center, right)
- TopTap offers functionality to the top of the screen (double tap status bar – left, center, right; long-press status bar – left, center, right; swipe down a side – left, right; swipe across radius – left, right; swipe across top – left, right; 3-finger swipe down turns screen off)
- Bixit remaps the bixby button (normal press, long-press, longer-press, longest-press, panic press, double-tap, triple-tap, instant press, and camera mode)
- HardPress is only for users without navbars, who therefore have lost the stock ability to use the hard press area while the screen is on. (hardpress, hardpress & swipe (left, left-up (diagonal), swipe up, swipe right-up (diagonal), swipe right), hard press & hold (long, longer, longest), hard double-press)
- Always-On Display customization (left of AOD widget, right of widget, above widget, on widget, below widget, home button area)
- Double-tap to wake via the AOD features just mentioned
- Automatic Autorotation
- Low Battery Shutdown
- HoldDown actions – These special actions can do something when first triggered, and then reverse it when you release. Eg. turn on the flashlight when 4-fingers are down, then turn it off when you let go. Or, open the status bar and close it when you release.
- A variety of other gestures, as found on the [General] tab, such as: power button long-press; power button double-press; home button long-press; power button + volume down; 4-finger tap anywhere; wide-tap anywhere; open the hidden status bar with one swipe; 3-finger swipe down from the top of the screen will turn it off (works best when the status bar is hidden); automatic autorotation; double-tap on the lockscreen; 3-finger tap on the lock screen; automatically start an app (and optionally press “play”) when headphones are plugged in; passive fingerprint sensor gestures; rolling the volume buttons with your thumb will input tracknext/trackprev.
Where do I get it?
Plasmalite is available via direct download from pocketdevelopers.com. It is not available at this time on the Play store due to uncertainty over Google’s restrictions on apps that use accessibility services, and specifically the violations that could arise from that. There is also concern that it would be inundated with bad reviews from people who do not understand that ADB is REQUIRED. However, should it end up on the Play store at some point, anyone who purchased it via PayPal will be entitled to a free code to redeem towards the store version.
Plasmalite comes with a 7-day trial, during which time all features are unlocked. This allows you to thoroughly test and see if it suits your needs. Once the trial has ended, all features will be locked except for the following:
Full licenses may be instantly purchased for $5 USD via PayPal. In addition to unlocking all features, you will also be entitled to all future updates of Plasmalite for your device series (as explained in the FAQ). Once the transaction has completed, you will be emailed a license key that can be used on any compatible devices of that series. The key is in the form on a text file that can be saved in your default download directory, or the root of internal storage. From that point Plasmalite will find it and apply it as soon as the app is opened. You can then delete the key - but save the email in case you need it again.
- 3 basic SwipeUp zones (left, center, right)
- Low battery shutdown
- Fingerprint gestures
How do I install it?
Currently Plasmalite only officially supports Android 7.x (Nougat). However with this version stable, work on Oreo compatibility will promptly begin.
Install the APK as usual, once that is done the app will provide instructions on how to start the backend (aka "PlasmaCore") via ADB. If you don't have ADB installed on your computer, or don't know how to use it, that is beyond the scope of this guide. There are many, many tutorials on various forums and YouTube with instructions on how to do this - it's very easy!
Due to its powerful design, the core must be started via ADB once PER BOOT of your device. This is because it needs to run at the ADB user-level, which cannot be ascended to via an unrooted device by itself. It can only be started with a computer using the ADB command. However once started, this “spark” can be maintained for as long as your device is running – Plasmalite (both core and/or app) can be fully updated without needing ADB again. But once your device reboots for whatever reason, the PlasmaCore will be unable to start until you issue that ADB command again. This may be a deal-breaker for some, but for others (like myself) who only reboot once every few weeks, it is only a minor inconvenience - especially compared to how helpful Plasmalite is.
Is there anything I should know?
- The PlasmaCore is a separate ~2 MB file that is downloaded when you first run the command via ADB.
- The core is updated separately from the app. In the future it may become part of the apk.
- Starting the core will also automatically grant WRITE_SECURE_SETTINGS and READ_LOGS to the app. These are needed for the app to function. There is no need for you to grant these manually.
What if I have a 0px navbar mod installed, and the PlasmaCore isn’t running because I rebooted or my battery died?
Plasmalite was originally only intended as a way to make the buttons on the navigation bar easier and quicker to access, but it is also ideal for use in situations where you have no navbar at all (eg. 0px mods, or other apks you can install to remove the navbar completely). Unfortunately, this presented a very bad scenario: what if you rebooted away from a computer, and now had no way to input back, home, or recents? Fear not!
Since Plasmalite normally needs the PlasmaCore to be running, special consideration and development has gone into providing a simple fail-safe should you need to reboot your device while away from ADB. Should the PlasmaCore not be running, Plasmalite will seamlessly switch over to a rudimentary set of 3 actions along the bottom – Recents | Home | Back (or whatever you have the three main zones set to on the [SwipeUp] tab). By default Plasmalite starts on boot, so this will ensure that don’t end up without a way to navigate. During this time a notification will be displayed reminding you to start the core via a computer to enable normal functionality. To be clear, almost no other functions will work until the core is started.
Upcoming features (in no particular order)
- Make daily update check optional
- Make a better action chooser (it’s just a list now, the ability to assign a custom app is coming)
- Oreo support
Where can I get help? Or report a bug?
You can reply to this thread, use the official Google group, or paid users may send an email. If you would like to report a bug, or request a feature, click here and create an issue in the system.
What if I am rooted?
You can still use Plasmalite, however for some there still may be no way for you to start it without a computer. Results have been varied - so far an Exynos S8+ user rooted via Magisk has had success with the button the [Extras] tab.
Can I disable all Bixby-related packages and still use Bixit?
Yes. Bixit does not need any Bixby packages or services to be running in order function.
Tell me more about Accessibility Services
It is common knowledge that granting accessibility privileges to some apps will introduce lag throughout an Android system. However, not many people realize that apps can request varying levels of feedback. For example, an app can request to be notified when window content changes, or when lists are scrolled, or when things are tapped. Depending upon what is requested, a LOT of data can be generated, and that is what causes the lag.
Plasmalite requests nothing. This is because Plasmalite needs nothing. In this case, declaring the accessibility service is just a formality for being able to “press” recents, back, appswitch, and screen split. This can be confirmed when you grant accessibility privileges and Android shows you what Plasmalite has requested. As a result of not asking for anything other than the bare minimum, there is no lag or stutter. It is recommended to enable and use accessibility services (Command Mode: 3) to enjoy near-instantaneous “presses.” Otherwise, “Direct” mode takes about 1 second.
Hopefully future versions of Android will provide a way for apps to request only the ability to press virtual buttons, and then Google won’t have to accuse developers of abusing the entire Accessibility Services system.
What is the future of Plasmalite?
I have devoted many months of time into the development, testing, and dog-fooding of Plasmalite. Spending over 1,000 hours and countless all-nighters thinking of new features, teaching myself Java, implementing them, using them for long periods of time, then tracking down and fixing the inevitable bugs. It is my first app, and has been my passion-project for quite some time. I have every intention of maintaining Plasmalite. I do not anticipate losing any functionality, but however unlikely it may be, it is a possibility if Samsung changes certain things.XDA:DevDB Information
One of my primary goals is to earn enough money to finance the purchase of more devices for development, such as an S9+, and eventually other devices such as a Pixel 2, etc.
Should Plasmalite evolve beyond the S8 line, current plans are to license per device model/series. Eg. S8 series (S8, S8+, Note8), S9 series (S9, S9+, Note9), Pixel 2 series (Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL), etc. Given the broad spectrum of capabilities Plasmalite offers, the technical overhead to adapt between devices is quite substantial. It is not as simple as just tweaking an APK to add support for more devices. For example, various gesture apps go months, or even years, without updates. By comparison, Plasmalite requires work nearly every week. I have been internally developing Plasmalite for months now, with work being done almost every single day. But I find development to be satisfying, so thinking of and implementing new features is something I gravitate towards when I have any free time.
Given how late into the S8 series’ lifetime it now is, anyone who purchases a license for the S8 series will be entitled to a free license of their choosing in the future. To clarify: if you support me today and in a few months you upgrade to an S9 (or Pixel) device, as soon as there is an S9 (or Pixel) version of Plasmalite you will be entitled to it for free.
Plasmalite, App for all devices (see above for details)
Current Beta Version: 1.013
Beta Release Date: 2018-02-12
Last Updated 2018-02-12