The Edge Sense feature on the flagship HTC smartphones introduced the squeeze functionality to launch any app. It made its debut on the Google Pixel smartphones as Active Edge. While it featured on all Pixel smartphones starting with the Pixel 2 models, the company somehow decided to skip Active Edge on the new Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a smartphones.
Google even offered it with the last year's affordable smartphones — Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. Nevertheless, users can install the free-to-download app called SideSqueeze+ available on the Google Play Store to bring back the squeeze functionality. Meanwhile, some of the additional functionalities of the app need an in-app purchase.
SideSqueeze+ offer Active Edge features on the new Pixel 5
Notably, the device needs to be weather-sealed and include a built-in barometer for the app to work. While all Pixel smartphones launched in 2020 feature Barometer, only the Pixel 5 comes with IP68 certification. Interestingly, users can mimic the Active Edge functionality on other Android flagship smartphones as well.
Unlike Active Edge, the SideSqueeze+ app allows users to customize for launching different apps or actions. For example, users can set the single squeeze option to show the notification panel and long squeeze for opening the camera app. Also, different actions can be set for the same squeeze type when the screen is turned on or off.
The app offers seven detectable squeeze types
With Tasker integration, the app can also launch any task by squeezing the phone. The app offers a total of seven detectable squeeze types — single, double, triple, quadruple, long, long double-squeeze, and inertial. Interestingly, the app works perfectly even without root access.
Since there are no dedicated sensors to detect the squeezing, the app might not work as consistently as Active Edge. Even having a case on your smartphone will affect the performance of the app. However, the squeezing strength can be calibrated using the squeeze/press analyzer to give better results.
The analyzer section also shows a visual representation of your gesture for a better understanding. Active Edge is one of those features that made the Pixel smartphones stand out from the rest. Still many users consider it to be a gimmicky feature.
While the latest Pixel 5 lacked it, there is no official confirmation from the company whether it can be expected with future models. On the Samsung Galaxy Note smartphones, the app can also customize the S Pen shortcuts. It also works perfectly on several other flagship Android smartphones.