Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Xiaomi Mi3 with Android 4.4.4 - soft home and back buttons

After my last post about my phone, there were some more developments. Now the headphone socket does not work at all. But thankfully the earpiece works fine. Then, after frequent falls onto hard cement floors, the left corner of the screen cracked slightly, and the home, back and recent apps buttons on the bottom bezel of the phone stopped working.

Since I had heard of apps with 'soft home button', I installed several of them. None of them seemed to work with Xiaomi's MIUI. Then I installed MyHomeButton which creates a notification in the notification pull-down screen. This worked, but with the drawbacks that:
  1. It would not start on rebooting the phone - I have to remember to open the app settings, turn off and turn on the check-boxes for Home and Recent Apps, then the notifications would appear. 
  2. No back button.
  3. Use requires a swipe from the top to bring down the notification bar, a swipe sideways to view the notifications, and then a tap to activate the home button. A bit cumbersome.
I lived with the above drawbacks till today, when I installed Back Button Gesture Launcher. Or rather, the trial for the paid app. Since it is a paid app, it had a somewhat helpful 'Help' section, which mentioned that for the onscreen button to be visible, what settings need to be enabled on Xiaomi -
  1. Settings -> Installed Apps -> Downloaded -> Back button -> Permission Manager -> Display pop-up window, Enable. 
  2. Settings -> Additional Settings -> Accessibility -> Back button -> Accessibility, Enable. 
Now, this app is a paid app, and one of the comments directs users to install the Back Button app instead, which is a free app. So I did that, after uninstalling Back Button Gesture Launcher. Granted the permissions again, and ready to go. A small issue with this app is that the icons don't seem to be movable from their location on the right side of the screen. But that is probably not a big issue.

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