These days phone’s displays are getting larger and longer, enabling us to consume a greater amount of content. What’s not getting larger and longer? Our thumbs. You can do all of the scrolling you’d like but many times the action buttons are at the top of the screen, forcing users to reach 5.5 inches or more multiple times a day. Over time this may cause significant stress and cause musculoskeletal disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome. In order to prevent this from occurring and keeping your thumbs fresh, here are some apps to make your thumb feel like it’s using 3.3 inches of screen instead of stretching across 5.5 inches. Your thumb will thank you.
Let Your Thumb Find the Apps
If you’ve ever used the edge sense feature on the galaxy series phone and wanted it on your device, then look no further. Wave Launcher gives you the ability to access any of your favorite apps, shortcuts or apps from any screen without having to return to your home screen. The wave can be activated by swiping from the left, right or bottom of your device and is capable of containing up to 12 different apps. Wave Launcher will prevent your thumb from unnecessarily searching through your app drawer and home screen. Oh, and another thing…it’s free!
Easier Thumb Navigation
Android has three main navigation buttons: back home and recents. Wouldn’t it be great if these could be accessed from any portion of your screen? Pie Control makes this dream control. After installation you’ll be able to navigate through your device from the sides, bottom and all four corners. In addition to navigation, another two more additional pie levels can be added for quick access to your most used applications, folders, websites and to take notes. The spacing, size and color of the pie can all be configured in the settings to match the theme of your device. It’s a free download and premium features can be unlocked for $3.90.
Easier Texting for Your Thumb
Without question, the majority of work that our thumbs do is using the virtual keyboard. Due to the interphalangeal joint (the portion of the thumb that bends closest to the nail) I don’t believe that the vertical motions are as harmful as the horizontal motions needed to reach across the keyboard. Gboard helps alleviate this by offering left-handed and right-handed modes, shortening the distance between the ends of the keyboard. This option is enabled my holding the comma button down and selecting the hand option that comes appears on the right side. Gboard also allows the keyboard height to be adjusted as well as the entire keyboard itself, allowing you to place the keyboard exactly where you want it. It’s free from Google.
Give Your Thumb A Break
Nova Launcher is way deeper than what I’m going to go over here, so the focus here are the gestures and inputs. If you haven’t explored this section of the app then now is the time to become familiar. There are 11 customizable gestures that can be set to anything you’d like. For example: double tap the to open up your list of apps, double tap then swipe up to launch the camera and swiping down brings down the notification shade. Although these actions have to be performed on the home screen they certainly save your thumbs unnecessary taps. The full version of Nova Launcher is needed to access the gestures, but the money is well worth it and everything else the app offers.
Hopefully these apps help you from moving your phone around in order to navigate across the ever-growing screens. If nothing else, they’ll certainly increase your productivity and efficiency when it comes to operating your Android smartphone or tablet. Do you have any app suggestions that fit this mold? Let myself and others know in the comment section below.