There are certain developers out there that continually come up with brilliant ideas. Chris Lacy is one such developer. Responsible for Link Bubble and Tweet Lanes, Lacy has a solid grasp on inventive ways to make working with your smartphone more efficient. His latest creation, TapPath adds to his box of Android tools that should be considered a must for anyone looking to gain more efficiency and control from their devices.
With TapPath, you can define how links open. A single tap opens the link with your default web browser. But let's say you use Pocket to read articles at a later time. In this case, you can define a double tap to automatically add the link to your Pocket account. A triple tap might open the link in Link Bubble. What you do with the customized taps is up to you (and what apps you have on your device).
TapPath is not a free app, but it will only set you back $0.99 (USD). For anyone looking to increase the flexibility of their Android device, those pennies will be well spent. So, if you're willing to drop the coin, here's how you install TapPath:
- Open the Google Play Store on your device
- Search for TapPath
- Locate and tap the entry by Chris Lacy
- Tap the $0.99 button
- Tap Accept (the app does not require any special permissions)
- Tap Buy
- Enter your Google password (if necessary)
- Tap Confirm
- Tap OK when prompted
When the app is finished installing, tap Open from within the Google Play Store. Next, tap OK to accept the EULA. With that complete, you'll find yourself in the TapPath main window (Figure A).
TapPath running on a Verizon-branded LG G3.
The first thing you'll want to do is tap the Set as default system browser button to set your default browser. When you tap that, select TapPath from the available list (Figure B).
The list of available options will vary, depending on what you have installed.
Tap OK after you've selected TapPath as your default. Now, it's time to set the actions for the single, double, and triple tap. To do this, tap the default actions for each and, from the picker (Figure C), select what action you want to use for each.
Setting the action for one of the various taps.
You can then test the action with the Google link provided on the main window.
You may find the different taps not registered. If that's the case, you'll need to play with the tap delay settings. I had to set the tap delay all the way to .6 seconds to get the app to work properly. To do this, follow these steps:
- Open TapPath
- Tap the menu button in the top right corner of the main window
- In the Settings window (Figure D), select the Tap Delay entry
- Move the slider all the way to the right
- Go back to the main window (using the device back button) and test the link again
The TapPath Settings window.
Play around with that setting until you find the sweet spot for your tapping speed. Once you find it, the app will work perfectly, and you'll be happily acting on links exactly how you want.
If you're looking for yet another way to extend the features of your Android device, dropping $0.99 for TapPath is well worth the investment. The app adds a feature that will help to make your Android experience even more efficient and handy.
Do you think adding too many options to Android waters down the platform — or do you think options are part of Android's appeal? Share your opinion 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.