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Use GMD to bring gesture controls to your Android phone

With GMD you can create gesture controls for your Android phone. In this tutorial we'll look at how you can launch your favourite apps and switch between tasks with a simple swipe of the screen

GMD Gesture Control, downloadable from the Play Store in free or premium versions for root users, gives you the ability to use multitouch and multitask gestures right across your device. A number of predefined gestures are included, but one of the strengths of the application is that you can also assign your own gestures to different functions.

One of the most powerful features is creating a gesture which allows you to hide the navigation / notification bars, perfect for those applications that don’t let you use them in a full screen mode.

Other included actions give you the ability to start a LaunchPad, start an application, switch to the previous application, switch to the next application, go home, kill the current application, go back, go forward, view the recent application list, open the recent application dialog, press the menu button, display the notification panel, start a launcher short cut (bookmark, contacts, settings, etc.), start a Tasker task, pause gestures, exit, turn off the screen, alt / tab, control your music (play/next/previous), change your device’s volume, start a search, start a voice search and select input method. An extensive list!

Generally speaking gestures are best assigned to 3 or 4 finger actions to avoid interfering with normal use of the device. In this tutorial we’ll show you how to install, configure and make the most of GMD Gesture Control.

  1. 1

    Download the application

    GMD Gesture Control can be downloaded from the Play Store. Both free and paid versions are available. Although some features are disabled in the free version (the ability to hide the notification icon, custom gestures and special actions, unlimited actions in LaunchPad), it’s recommended you try the ‘Lite’ release before buying!

  2. 2

    Choose the operation mode

    GMD Gesture Control has different gesture setups based on whether you are using a Phone or a Tablet. To set the appropriate mode for your device, open the application from the launcher icon and ensure the ‘Gestures’ section is visible. At the top of the page you’ll see a drop down list – simply your device type.

  3. 3

    Calibrate for your device

    Before you can start to use gestures, you need to calibrate the application for your screen. While still in the main application dialogue, select the ‘Advanced’ section followed by the ‘Calibrate’ button. Touch the right and bottom borders as instructed and when the values stop increasing, press ‘Stop’. You’re ready to being using GMD!

  4. 4

    Toggle the status bar

    Scrolling back across to the first page will show you the different gestures that are available for use. At the bottom of the list you’ll see the ‘Status Bar On/Off’ gesture, which is used by swiping 4 fingers up from the bottom of the screen.  If you have a device with capacitive keys at the bottom, you might find unchecking the ‘gesture can only start form screen border’ option helps.

  5. 5

    Switch between applications

    Now that you’ve used your first gesture, you’re ready to try out a pair of gestures that allow you to switch between applications. A 4 finger sweep to the right switches to the previous application while the same gesture to the left switches to the next application. Tapping all 4 fingers does an ‘Alt / Tab’ application switch.

  6. 6

    Try a 5 fingered gesture

    Some gestures are easier to do than others, 5 fingered gestures can be particularly tricky. The only preconfigured 5 fingered gesture allows you to turn the screen off – to do so put your fingers on the screen and rotate them anti-clockwise. You might find it takes a little bit of practice!

  7. 7

    Using the LaunchPad

    Expanding 4 fingers from the centre of the screen opens the LaunchPad, a configurable semi transparent shortcut bar that can contain a number of actions, shortcuts, applications or even links to other LaunchPads. The look of the LaunchPad can also be customised to your liking.

  8. 8

    Creating a custom gesture

    After you’ve got to grips with the pre-defined gestures, you’ll probably want to create your own. You can do this in two ways – by recording a gesture that you draw on the screen or by specifying a gesture path, number of touch points and starting zone. The former is easier, the latter more flexible!

  9. 9

    Blacklisting applications

    Although gestures are powerful – and useful – you may find that they can interfere when you’re using an application that relies on gestures or games. The blacklist tab allows you to specify apps that pause gestures, ignore starting zones, hide the status bar or are excluded from the next / previous app actions.

  10. 10

    Settings and Advanced Settings

    There are lots of useful options in the settings pages, including the ability to hide the notification icon, change the theme, toggle the gesture message (which you might like to leave on initially and disable later), vibrate on gesture and, in the advanced pane, options that can help resolve any device incompatibility.