If you're a proud owner of the HTC smartphone with Sense 6, you should know there's a really cool feature that allows you to gain instant access to various features on the device. If your phone is on your desk and you need to make a quick call, pick up the phone and swipe to activate Voice Dialing — without having to enter your security PIN, pattern, password, etc. This feature (new to Sense 6) is called "Motion Launch gestures," and it makes using your device incredibly efficient.
Please note that, for some business users, Motion Launch could be considered a security issue. Certain gestures bypass the lockscreen and allow access to the device (to make voice calls, for example). It's not quite as bad as it sounds, as only certain gestures allow you access to features without security intervening. However, even those gestures that allow you access to a specific action will not allow you to actually get into the device without entering your security credentials.
Let's set this up and take a look how to use it.
The good news is that there's no installation necessary. The bad news? Only HTC smartphones with Sense 6 need apply. With that said, let's enable this feature. To do so, follow these steps:
- Open up Settings
- Scroll down to and tap Display & gestures
- Scroll down and tap Motion Launch gestures
- Tap to enable Motion Launch gestures (Figure A)
- Make sure Bypass Security screen is unchecked
Setting up Motion Launch gestures on a Verizon-branded HTC M8.
You'll also want to ensure you have security set up on the device. Note: If you decide to change your security option (say from pattern to PIN), this will disable Motion Launch gestures and you'll have to go back and re-enable it.
Using Motion Launch gestures is quite simple:
- When your phone is asleep, pick it up
- Swipe or tap to get to the feature you want
- To get beyond that feature, enter your security PIN, pattern, or password
The different Motion Launch gestures are:
- Double tap: Wake the device
- Swipe to the right: Open BlinkFeed
- Swipe to the left: Open the Widget screen (the center "page" on the Android home screen)
- Swipe down: Open and go directly to voice dialing
- Swipe up: Same as a double tap
- Volume buttons (landscape mode only): Open the camera to snap a picture
As I mentioned earlier, you can use these features (say Blinkfeed or voice dialing), but to get beyond them, you'll have to enter the security password (PIN or pattern).
This is all very simple. The question is, why would you need this? The primary reason is speed. I'll give you an example: I tend to have a very minimal home screen — no launchers or docks (most of what I use is done through gestures). With the HTC M8, I can go from a sleeping phone to placing a voice dialed phone call almost instantly — no need to navigate through the app drawer, add an extra gesture to the process, or tap a launcher after you wake the phone.
Or, how many times have you wanted to snap a picture, only to find that the moment has passed by the time you get the camera open? With Motion Launch gestures, you'll be able to more quickly capture those shots.
HTC Sense 6's Motion Launch gestures is a fantastic way to bring a new level of efficiency to your Android device. If you need immediate access to voice dialing, your widget screen, or your camera — this is your best bet.
Is your Android device as efficient as possible? What have you modified (or added) to make your smartphone even better than it was out-of-the-box? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.