Hands-Free lock-unlock Android phone

For most Android phones you need to push either the Power button or the trackball button to unlock the device (wake from sleep). Similarly you usually need to press the power-button to put the phone back to sleep.

This has been known to cause issues on some phones (such as the original Nexus One) where the power button gets worn out and stops responding, which leaves users in a bit of a pinch.

Luckily though, there are apps that allow you to map other buttons or sensors to unlock and lock the screen. My favourite is Tap tap app which uses the proximity sensor to do both.

The cool thing about this app is that you don't even need to touch the phone. Unlike the video above, you can just wave your hand back and forth across the proximity sensor at a distance of an inch or two and the phone magically comes to life. Wave your hand again and the phone goes to sleep. Excellent for when you have the phone lying on your desk at work, or in the cup-holder in the car.

One issue though is that the proximity sensor seems to enter sleep mode after a number of minutes, which disables the effect :-( You can re-activate it by pressing the volume down key, then waving your hand (or just use the power button as normal). Hopefully the developer can work this bug out and keep the sensor active the whole time (not sure how much battery drain this causes, but hopefully negligible).


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