Last week, we talked about a new UI and method to control your phone, the PIE Control, a new feature that was launched as part of Paranoid Android. I was just chatting with my friend on the usefulness of PIE Launcher and I was lamenting that I wasn’t prepared to flash my phone to Paranoid Android just yet.
Well, what do you know, I just discovered an application that brings PIE Control to your phones, without the need to install the ROM. It’s called LMT Launcher, and it has been around for quite some time – since November 2011. It received a pretty major update today, bringing the PIE Control that closely resembles that from ParanoidAndroid ROM Feature set. Your phone would need to be rooted though, but that’s infinitely easier than loading a new custom ROM and also helps preserve data. Although backing up data across Android devices is getting easier nowadays, it still isn’t entirely hassle-free. So for those of you looking for PIE goodness while remaining stock, this is an option.
Beyond PIE Control, LMT is a tool for Android that launches a command when perform single touch or multitouch gestures on the screen (In any app/screen/etc.). You can connect basic and advanced commands to any gesture LMT supports. And the video above actually shows some of these options too, it is a very comprehensive tool but it is designed to enable PIE control immediately. For beginners: Load the application, allow root access, and start the service to use the PIE control. More advanced users could tweak the phone further to support areas such as “Invisible Swipe Areas” and customise the colours of the PIE.
It’s one of those apps that you could probably spend a couple of hours with, tweaking and testing, until you find a setup that you like. But the basics are this – it allows you to setup regions to swipe from to access the PIE menu, use gestures for completing actions, and set invisible swipe areas so that you can perform tasks from anywhere. There are custom colour options, buttons that can be turned to actions in the PIE menu, and so much more.
The application ain’t perfect yet. I get a system crash if I hold my finger on the swipe area for too long on my Samsung Galaxy S3. Basically, after the PIE appears for some time and the clock disappears, I would receive a notification “Unfortunately, LMT has stopped”. Also, I may sound a bit paranoid in trying to find software alternatives for the physical buttons as I have seen a number of devices, (iPhones, LG Optimus 2x) with unresponsive hardware physical buttons after a couple of years. While that might be an indication that it is time to change phone, I still want to preserve the resale value.
Download LMT from here (XDA Forums).