One of the best features of the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 is Active Edge. Active Edge lets you squeeze the side of your Pixel to launch the assistant or silence alarms, timers, notifications, and incoming calls. Unlike HTC’s Edge Sense, which Active Edge is most likely based on, Active Edge is limited to launching only the Google Assistant service. There are ways to remap Active Edge to do whatever you want, provided you’re willing to install a third-party app or root your phone. With the release of Android Q beta, however, it’s possible to remap the squeeze function to launch any default assistant on your Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, or Pixel 3 XL.
While digging into the first beta release of Android Q, I discovered a hidden property that Google has added that allows for third-party assistants to be launched when the user squeezes their phone. Using the Android Debug Bridge (ADB), one can enable this setting that’s otherwise inaccessible. Instructions on how to set up ADB on any Windows, Linux, or macOS PC can be found here. Once you have ADB set up, simply enter the following command to allow Active Edge to launch any assistant of your choice—Cortana, Alexa, etc.—so long as it’s set as the default assistant in Settings.
adb shell settings put secure assist_gesture_any_assistant 1
Changing the default Assistant app in Android Q. Screenshots were taken on a Google Pixel 3 XL.
Even better, you can set up Active Edge to launch whatever app you want. If you make Tasker your default Assistant, you can squeeze your Pixel to toggle the flashlight, for example.
We can’t guarantee this feature will make its way into the final Android Q release, but we hope Google follows Samsung’s example.
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