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Using swipes when display off [answered]

asked 2015-02-02 15:47:35 +0300

lakutalo gravatar image

updated 2016-10-26 12:50:57 +0300

jiit gravatar image

What would you think of context-based swipes and gestures used when display is off and proximity sensor not covered?

In fact we could extend the whole swipe spectrum to the next dimension.

Generally I want to control as much as possible without having to turn on display since it is just a waste of time and energy for many actions. Additionally, for some actions I would not even need any visual clue, feedback or whatsoever.

Just as an example, I could imagine actions like skip track, skip album, ffwd, fbwd using swipe-up, -down, -left, -right respectively, while media player is running. You might want to use it with headphones or bt-speakers lacking answer buttons. So for just skipping to next song I have to double-click power button and swipe on the minimised app cover. And what's worst, I actually have to look at the screen and even lift my arm when I am having a lie-down. :-)

I know of lockscreen controls, and it has its justification. But this alternative way the display could stay off, sparing a lot of battery capacity, saving time and finger movements.

Another application could be special gestures for fast access to 'vital' apps, such as camera or flashlight.

As an extension to above said I could think of an app to manage, edit and assign custom gestures to different actions.

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The question has been closed for the following reason "the question is answered, an answer was accepted" by VDVsx
close date 2015-02-09 14:57:21.139119



I think that's a WONDERFUL idea: When the display is off, swipe from the left / right to wake up to the home screen, or swipe from the the top to wake up to the last used application. It's so simple! Why haven't I heard this idea before??

drcouzelis ( 2015-02-02 16:31:06 +0300 )edit

Here is a related question/request regarding the same idea to keep the device functional while locked: https://together.jolla.com/question/2415/unlock-with-swipe-up-instead-of-double-tap/

@drcouzelis The above mentioned request suites your idea a little bit better - please vote it up. :)

Alex ( 2015-02-02 16:53:56 +0300 )edit

Great idea.

piero ( 2015-02-02 23:00:22 +0300 )edit

If I remember correctly, BB10 has something like this, but it is a battery killer, as the phone must be ready for input and analyze it, too. Dark memories speaking…

Blizzz ( 2015-02-03 01:00:08 +0300 )edit

@Blizzz: It has to listen for double tap, too. Imho that can not be a big difference.

lakutalo ( 2015-02-03 07:53:55 +0300 )edit

3 Answers

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answered 2015-02-09 06:35:51 +0300

spiiroin gravatar image

Double tap is detected within touch panel firmware and cpu is woken up only when double tap actually occurs. For swipe gestures there is no firmware support, so cpu must be kept awake & waiting for input -> supporting swipe gestures from display off increases idle time power consumption by factor of 4 or so.

That means - at least without significant touch firmware changes - it will cause energy loss rather than allow any savings i.e. to justify something like that, usability increases would need to be significant too.

We did prototype the necessary logic last summer for possible use from Sneak Peek/Glance/LPM, shortly put: Without visual feedback the operation is not intuitive and still makes chances of pocket calls & such a tiny bit more likely to occur. The idea is not totally rejected, but it clearly needs more thought and other things have taken priority over it.

Also note that to save some finger movements you can already now tweak power key and/or double tap behavior from command line so that home (or device unlock) screen is shown instead of lockscreen

mcetool --set-display-off-single-powerkey-press-actions=unblank,tkunlock
mcetool --set-doubletap-mode=unlock

The usual caveat is that bypassing lock screen makes pocket power key presses more likely to cause problems - using proximity sensor to block power key might help to some extent (but that can make misbehaving proximity sensor more severe situation, so do remember the triple powerkey press forces proximity sensor to "not covered" state -feature).

mcetool --set-powerkey-action=proximity2

(mcetool can be installed as root via: pkcon install mce-tools)

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Pity, but usability comes first. I am still looking forward to a feature like this so let us hope for good ideas concerning the technical details. I guess powerkey tweaks are quite limited, so no other actions or events like those named in the request might be triggered.

On the other hand, when the media player plays a track, the cpu cannot be asleep, can it? So at least in this case the requested feature could be useful without harming any principles you mentioned.

lakutalo ( 2015-02-09 13:17:38 +0300 )edit

answered 2015-02-06 04:47:22 +0300

pan tau gravatar image

updated 2015-02-06 04:54:06 +0300

i think that lock screen should remain to be locked screen, i can imagine how frustrating would be handling with locked phone and still keeping on mind that there are some active gestures. omg :) noway or as option ofcourse , but im pretty sure that disabled by default for next song, and volume, there were allways controlls on the headset line, so some kind of remote control is the better solution :D, there is no reason to use hifi headphones with phone, just becouse of DAC and amplfier :p but personaly i dont think that is too much energy to power up display change song/album and lock again

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I agree with this. Lock screen should be locked, save for the "knocking gesture".

If there would be gestures on the lock screen, at least make it optional, so we can deactivate it and save us from pocket-dialing or worse.

Venty ( 2015-02-06 11:49:42 +0300 )edit

While in your pocket the proximity sensor is covered, and thus any unintentional input will be prevented.

lakutalo ( 2015-02-06 15:35:36 +0300 )edit

answered 2015-02-06 10:42:49 +0300

bilgy_no1 gravatar image

While I think it's a perfectly good idea to implement lock screen controls and shortcuts to functions without having to unlock the phone, I really don't see much value in having these available without any visual clue. It can become very confusing, especially if it is about more than just controlling one simple function.

Besides, in my experience, battery life is really not an issue at all. I regularly come home with 65% or more battery left after a working day. I couldn't care less if that would be 66% with this idea implemented (or 70% for that matter).

Having said all this, I do see a use case where the user can define a limited number of gestures to directly open certain applications, without having to unlock. E.g. Draw a 'C' on the screen to open the camera, or draw an 'N' (for Numbers) to open the calculator. These would be in addition to the double tap to wake (which brings you to the home screen or lock screen).

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Asked: 2015-02-02 15:47:35 +0300

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Last updated: Feb 09 '15