Sunday, May 20, 2012

Long, Short and Double Tap in Animated Widget

Animated Widget is animated fast dial widget for Android. This application allows you to accelerate such tasks as dialing frequent contacts, sending SMS, e-mailing, making Viber calls, launching favorite applications, bookmarks, opening Facebook pages, etc.

Animated Widget uses three kinds of tap: short, long and double. Short tap is most common and mostly used. Double and long taps are less intuitive, most users don't know about their possibilities at all. Nevertheless, double and long taps can be very useful in some cases. I will try to describe these cases below.

Double tap

Short tap on Animated Widgets leads to opening list of actions. For example, short tap on Launcher widget opens list of selected applications. Tap on application will immediately launch the application.

If you have application that you launch more frequently then others, you can set this application as default in Widget Properties. Double tap on widget launches default application without showing list of applications.

In the same way, you can set default action in Single Contact Widget, Group Contact Widget and Bookmarks Widget. BTW: Single Contact Widget has predefined default action - "phone call".

There is flag "Swap tap and double tap action" in Widget Properties. If this flag is checked, then short tap on widget will launch default action, double tap will open list of widget's actions.

Long tap in Single Contact Widget

Take a look on typical Single Contact Widget. Only few users knows, that it supports short and LONG tap on shortcuts. For example, you can launch "SMS" using short or long tap. What's difference?

It's well known, that Android allows you to choose a default application for a particular action. For example, there are several applications for sending SMS on my device: Messages, Skype, Viber. Each time when I need to create SMS, Android shows me list of these applications. In 90% of the cases I use "Messages", so I mark this application as "default". As soon as I do it Android stops to show me the list and starts to launch "Messages" without confirmation. To view the list again, I need to clear default application in system settings.

The problem is obvious. What should I do if I use "Messages" in 90% and Skype in other 10%? I have only two possibilities:
  • Set "Messages" as default application. In 90% cases "Messages" will be launched without asking me to select it - that's good. But in other 10% I have a big problem - there is no way to launch Skype
  • Don't set default application. As result, in 90% cases I must select "Messages" EACH time. That's not convenient. But in other 10% I have possibility to select Skype.
Animated Widget supports long tap on shortcuts to workaround this problem. The idea is simple. Short tap on shortcut launches default application. Long tap shows list of applications always.

As result, I select "Messages" as default application. When I want to create SMS using "Messages", I use short tap on shortcut. When I want to create SMS using any other application, I use long tap.

Long tap in Group contact

Tap on Group Contact Widget opens list of subcontacts. Shot tap on subcontact launches default action of the subcontact. Long tap on subcontact opens list of subcontact's actions.

Default behavior of short and long tap can be swapped. Open Widget Properties and set flag "Toggle tap and long tap on subcontacts". After that, short tap on subcontact will open list of actions, long tap will launch default action.

Long tap in Bookmarks Widget

Long tap on Bookmarks Widget shortcut works in same way as long tap in Single Contact Widget - instead of launching default browser for selected URL, it shows list of all available browsers. This behavior is implemented since Animated Widget 1.6 only.

Update: Long tap on "..."

Since 1.6.2 long tap on button "..." directly opens Widget Properties without showing menu at the bottom of the screen.

Update: Specialized shortcuts

Since 2.0 specialized shortcuts are supported, so you are able to create SMS shortcut and select application that should be always used to open this shortcut. Just create one SMS shortcut for Whatsapp, another one for Viber and send messages to Whatsapp and Viber through single tap. See detailes here

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