blu rainbow button app

AH Primetime: BLU’s Rainbow Button Isn’t The Only Way To Use Your Phablet One-Handed

January 24, 2015 - Written By Jeremiah Nelson

I reviewed the BLU Studio 7.0 last month, and while it’s not a high-end device, it does have some good things going for it. One of those strong points is something that BLU calls their Rainbow button. It’s a small floating button that gives you quick access to apps, and it makes life pretty easy when trying to use the device with one hand. On a phone this large there needs to be something to make using the device easier. It’s not perfect, but Rainbow is a smart solution.

The Rainbow button on the Studio 7.0 is a small dot that floats on the screen. When you press is it you’re presented with three icons. One is Tools; the second is Media; and the third is your own Favorites. You can press Tools and get access to your Phone, Calculator, ToDo, Wi-Fi, and your File Manager. Media presents you with your Video, Music, Gallery, Camera, and the FM Radio apps. The Favorites icon lets you select five apps that you’d like to have quick access to. You can drag the Rainbow button and position it wherever you like on the screen.

Rainbow will be familiar to you if you’ve ever used Pie Control from the Paranoid Android ROM. It also looks quite a bit like the Lazy Swipe app from developer woody on the Google Play Store. Lazy Swipe gives you a similar menu and can be docked in either the bottom right or bottom left hand corner of your device. The app shows your recent apps under Recently, a Toolbox of system apps, and your Favorites, just the same as Rainbow. In fact, they look quite a bit similar. If you have a phablet and you want to use it with one hand, Lazy Swipe is a good option. I’m sure there are others out there, too.

The whole point of Rainbow and Lazy Swipe is to give you a way to use your giant phablet with just one hand. It works for opening an app, but then where are you? Once you have opened your Messaging app open, how to do you type with one hand? Several third-party keyboards offer one-handed options. SwiftKey is my personal favorite, and it has a great option that slides the keyboard over to the left or right side and docks it on the edge of the screen. There have also been a couple of circular keyboards on the Play Store in the past, but nothing I could find that was currently still being developed. Samsung has a built in One-handed operation that can be enabled in the TouchWiz Settings, too. Like the apps mentioned above, these are not necessarily perfect. They will get the job done in a pinch, though.

If you own a phablet, you probably don’t much care about using your phone with one hand. When you sign on for a phone that has a large screen, especially one like the BLU Studio 7.0, you have to know what you are getting into. A phone the size of a tablet isn’t going be easy or practical to use with one hand. Even so, there are options out there. What do you use to make it easier to one-hand your phablet? Have you tried Lazy Swipe or SwiftKey? Let us know.