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How to add new functions to the volume keys on your Android device

How to add new functions to the volume keys on your Android device

Did you know that the volume rocker or buttons on your Android smartphone can actually do more than adjust the volume sound? Thanks to the openness of the Android system, and apps that change the functions of your phone, you can give these hardware keys brand new functionality, like placing calls, taking pictures, starting an audio recording etc. Here’s how it is done.

moto x camera teaser 2
© AndroidPIT

Using an app called QuickClick, which is of course available for free on the Google Play Store, you can start any action with a sequence of volume button clicks. The options include:

  • take a video or photo
  • turn on the flashlight, aka LED light
  • record an audio
  • write a text message
  • start a call
  • launch the task manager app, Tasker
  • start any app
  • settings options
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Here are the options that the app offers to add to your volume keys. © AndroidPIT

The app is quite simply laid out and is intuitive to use, my first time didn’t involve any head scratching or nervous nail-biting.

  • Launch the QuickClick app and ensure that the switch is flipped to ON. Next select ‘Create a new action’.
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Create a new action and follow the prompts. © AndroidPIT
  • You’ll be brought to the various actions that you can choose from. Tap on an action to select it, which brings you to further screens to set it up the way you want.
  • Tapping on photo or video for example will bring you to a screen where you specify which camera to use (front or back), the quality, flash on or off, autofocus and finally where the image will be saved.
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When adding a picture or video capture function to your volume buttons, you will be asked to create the key combo as well as specify a few other details. © AndroidPIT
  • Next you will need to chose a combination of volume key presses. A combination can be made from either one to six clicks.

Choosing apps will bring you to the list of apps on your phone, call and message to your contacts and sound to buzzer, whip, Star Wars or one of your own. The configurations options will switch on settings options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Mobile data etc. Finally, dictaphone (sound record) has you select the audio format, quality and path.

androidpit quickclick 4
QuickClick has also an extensive settings menu, that allows you to do cool things like switch on a battery saving mode, add widget, allow lock screen bypass etc. © AndroidPIT

When testing the app out, it worked quite well! All you need to do now is not forget the click combinations that you have chosen. There is also no risk of this happening in your pocket or purse, the chances of the buttons being pressed exactly with the predefined combination are pretty slim. You can set up your various combos and then toggle them on or off, so you have them presaved for whenever you feel like having them activated. Your volume buttons have never been so useful!

Did you give this a whirl? What do you think?

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  • Android is an open source that has a responsive UI any Android user will agree to this fact. But it seems like there is more than what meets the eye and this what makes it a favorite choice.

  • And if you want even more options, you can buy a Pressy (tiny hardware button that pops into your headphone port), the Xiaomi ripoff version or several other similar ideas like Cliq's NFC cases or the Indiegogo stick-on NFC buttons, Dimple.

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