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Jan 20, 2009

Butler: Launching applications with finger strokes

HTC newest devices come with only 4 hardware buttons which are very hard to re-assign.

For many of us WinMo users, this is a serious lack of functionality, but as always, the XDA-Developers come to the rescue!

Butler, is a freeware designed to map different applications launching to a finger gesture done in the bottom area of HTC Touch Diamond / Pro.

This area uses a capacitive technology which apparently has an API.

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Here's what Butler does:

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- Better vibration for incoming calls. I found the built-in vibration function very annoying as it vibrates permanently during an incoming call. This extensions vibrates in pulses of 300 ms with a pause of one second when a call is incoming


- SIP changer depending on stylus state. If stylus is out, another soft input panel is selected as if stylus is in. Can be changed via the registry keys StylusInSIP and StylusOutSIP.


- Stroke Launcher. If the finger is stroked from one button to another, an application is launched. Four directions are possible: From home button to accept phone call button and vice versa as well as from back button to reject phone call button and vice versa. The applications can be configured via the RightUpApp, RightDownApp, LeftUpApp and LeftDownApp registry keys. The required length of the stroke can be configured via the GestureMinLen registry key. Unfortunately, the program has to poll HTC's NAV sensor directly in order to not disturb the functionality of the wheel sensor. The sleep time between two polls can be configured with the GesturePollingDelay (in ms). If you use very fast strokes and the device does not react, try to decrease this value.

- Key lock if device is face down. The key lock is activated and the device is powered off if it is turned face down. The key locked is acknowledged by two short vibrations. Key lock can be disabled depending on the foreground window or active process list. Exclude list can be specified via the ExcludedProcesses and ExcludedWindows registry keys. The tolerance for the face down detection can be configured via the FacedownTolerance registry key.
The registry settings for Buttler are stored in HKLM\Software\Butler. Each extension described above can be switched of by setting the EnableFeature registry key to 0.

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Still requires some admin work I assume, as you need to manually configure the settings via a registry editor.

for more information and download links check out this XDA thread

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