These days, Android device manufacturers place as little hardware buttons as possible. Take the Nexus 4 for example — it has just one hardware button to power or lock the device, and volume rocker buttons whose only aim is to adjust the volume. Have you ever wanted your Android phone to have one more hardware button for some purpose, like a camera, or turning on the flashlight? If so, then here’s a Kickstarter project that might interest you.
The Pressy Hardware Button
Pressy is a Kickstarter project that allows you to add one hardware button to your phone, with the cost of clogging one headphone jack. Once you’ve inserted the button into your headphone jack, you can then start up the free Pressy app and configure what you want to launch when you press the Pressy hardware button. The Pressy app also supports Tasker so that you can even automate certain tasks with it. The possibilities are endless.
Pressy’s Kickstarter page explains that if your device does not have a camera button, you would need to wake up your phone, unlock it and then find and launch the camera app. Such a simple process can take approx. 4 or 5 steps. With Pressy, you can perform the same action with just a press of the Pressy button. Simply use the Pressy app and configure it to launch your camera. Simple, easy, convenient and requires less time to do the same task.
One short click will launch the flashlight on your phone. One long click will toggle your phone in and out of silent mode and double click to snap a photo. All this without having to do anything on your screen.
Pressy has done the impossible task of adding a hardware button to the device in a simple way. The only bummer for some of you is that it makes the headphone jack unusable for any other purpose. So, if you use your headphone jack often, then you’ll need to remove and insert this button again and again.
For those who are wondering how this works fundamentally: when you launch the Pressy app, it activates a background service. The service then monitors the headphone jack the button is plugged into. The application is then activated only when the Pressy button is clicked, so that it does not drain your battery. Good to know is that the app is compatible with Android 2.3 and up.
Pressy, as of right now, is fully funded in its goal. At the time of writing, the project was backed by 5,100 backers, and has pledges of $113,670. The goal was just to reach $40,000 but it has far surpassed that goal. If you’re thinking of pre-ordering it, then you’ll need to shell out $17, and if you want one with a keychain then it would come with a price-tag of $20. Not a bad deal considering that it accomplishes something that seems impossible, and that too, without any physical tweaking of the device.