GASAG, the Global Android Stay-Awake Gesture

Hans's picture
Fri, 2013-06-07 09:28 by Hans · Forum/category:

How often has it happened to you that your phone went to sleep and switched off its display while you were looking at it?

For reasons of conserving battery charge and AMOLED screen wear I have set my phone to fall asleep after one minute of inaction. This is usually enough to keep it awake while I read an article in the browser, because I have to scroll down approximately once a minute.

Android nicely dims the screen before dozing off entirely, so you have an advance warning and can tap something to keep your phone awake, if you occasionally need it for longer than one minute. But the question is, where do you tap? Each program has its different places where you can tap without causing some unwanted action, but then you have to drop your current thought and instead have to think about where to put your finger to keep the damned thing awake.

My first solution was to tap the notification bar at the top. That turned out to be a pretty good idea, because briefly tapping the notification bar does nothing, but still keeps the phone awake for another minute.

However, in some situations it may be difficult to hit the notification bar exactly. Also, sometimes, depending on how you lift your finger, it comes down and needs to be pulled back up again, which is awkward.

Just coming back from Africa, where I used the phone for navigation in an off-road vehicle and in a light aeroplane, both providing ample shaking and jumping, hitting the notification bar was sometimes almost impossible. I had to find something better.

The solution turned out to be the Global Android Stay-Awake Gesture (GASAG):

Put your finger on the top edge of your Android device. Slide down into the display area. Don't lift your finger, but instead make a U-turn with your fingertip and slide back up.

It doesn't have to be an actual U-shape. Just reverse the downward movement and let your finger glide up again.

That's it. Very easy to perform even in a shaking and jumping vehicle, even without looking. What it does is pull down the notification bar some way, but then pull it up again, so nothing really happens. Except that your display stays on for another minute, which is the whole purpose.

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