Apple is not all about copying competitors’ ideas and making them better. There were times where the Cupertino tech giant did make the first. iOS reachability is one of them, introduced in 2014 as part the new OS feature along with the company’s first large screen device, the iPhone 6 Plus. Reachability is a software driven feature which lets you temporarily move the user interface towards the bottom section of the screen for ease of access, thus enabling one-handed operation. Now, large screen devices in Android are not new. However, only a handful handset makers have addressed the one-handed operation but if you are not using certain devices that support one-handed mode, well, fret not cos’ XDA One-Handed Mode is here to save the day.
As the app name suggests, it is an app that will do pretty much do what iOS reachability does; bringing the difficult to reach part of the interface nearer to where it could be reach, thus making one-handed operation a less of a pain. It is an interesting, free-to-download app which you can give it go, but you will need to drop 99 cents if you want to enable all the features the app has to offer. Also, the use of the app requires your device to use ADB (not a fan, really), but if your device is already rooted then you are all good. Personally, I do not like to meddle with ADB, but the fact that it requires no rooting in order to enjoy the feature is a welcome feature.
There’s a slight caveat here though: XDA One-Handed Mode is fairly new and therefore, it is understandably not compatible with all applications, in particular, applications that aren’t coded for variable screen size. If incompatibility occurs, you will just get a large blank space between the status bar and the window. Anyways, here are the features you can expect:
Show bubble on boot
– Automatically adjust DPI to better fit screen contents
– Customize One-Handed Mode window, support for left-handed window
– Drag to dismiss bubble
– Disables One-Handed Mode on lock screen, when pressing home button, or when in landscape mode
And here’s the video walkthrough of this brilliant app:
Before you get all too excited, you have understand that the app is new and therefore, bugs to be are expected. Also, do not expect this to be as fluid as Apple’s. Shrinking down will leave an ugly gray or black space a top of the status bar and given how fragmented Android is, it is not of any surprise that it is not as fluid. Jerky is what I would have describe it to be, really. I have tried on the original Pixel and TBH, I am not a fan of the transition of the interface. It is all fun and novel, but I cannot say whether or not it is practical as a daily productive feature.
H/T: Android Police.