In its thankless quest to prove the squeeze skeptics wrong, HTC updated its Edge Launcher today with more customization options.
Introduced with the release of the U11+ in November, Edge Launcher presents users with a customizable Lazy Susan of apps and actions when the phone is squeezed. With only one hand, the user can scroll through the rotating circular menu and quick-launch the items within.
Today’s update lets users reposition the icons with the usual tap-and-hold method and adds the battery saver, auto rotate, and Wi-Fi hotspot quick settings to available actions.
Perhaps most useful is the added ability to activate Edge Launcher from the lock screen. When a locked phone is squeezed, the Edge Launcher menu wheel pops up exactly as it does when the phone is unlocked. The only difference is that once an action is selected, the phone still has to be unlocked by the user by fingerprint or pin unless something like Trusted Places is activated.
I tried this on my own HTC U11 (Solar Red, obviously) and it works just as advertised. For a while, I had the flashlight tied to the short squeeze for my phone, which was incredibly useful, but also frustrating and at times embarrassing when an accidental squeeze would set it off. I can see how it might be much better to assign Edge Launcher instead, as even accidental squeezes would merely present a menu of icons, not potentially blind the person across the table from me.
If you want to get even more into the weeds with your phone clutching, the Edge Sense settings have a beta menu in which specific actions within apps can be activated with a squeeze. Once an app is chosen from the menu, a red, translucent overlay covers the app’s UI, and the user can assign what action a squeeze will trigger by tapping on the relevant part of the screen. I have yet to find this useful, but it may just be a matter of trying several apps and fussing with it a bit.