Not everyone likes the traditional software navigation buttons so today I wanted to show you how to replace them with Pie Controls.
If you don’t know what Pie Controls, take a look at the image above here and then scroll down a little until you see the screenshot at the bottom of this article. It’s basically a half-circle that appears when you swipe your finger or thumb in from the edge of the screen. The application I show you today will let you customize it to activate and appear when you swipe in from a certain section(which is also configurable) of the edge of the screen.
When you do this swipe gesture, the half-circle will appear, but it will only stay on screen for as long as you keep your finger or thumb down on the screen.
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The idea is to swipe in from the edge of the screen and then put your thumb or finger on top of the button you want to select. So, if you want to press the home button, then do the swipe gesture and when you let go of the screen, make sure you let go of it while on top of the home button. This motion is very fluid and I have gotten so used to it that it’s become second nature to me.
So let me show you how to set up Pie Controls on the Nexus 5X and you’ll have the choice of whether you want to use it to supplement the bottom navigation bar or if you want to replace it altogether. The tutorial below talks about replacing it, but if you don’t want to replace it then simply skip over the disable the navigation bar step.
Nexus 5X Pie Controls
- Install a Custom Recovery on the Nexus 5X
- Root the Nexus 5X
- Create a Nandroid Backup of the Nexus 5X
- Disable the Navigation Bar on the Nexus 5X
- Instead of Rebooting After Disabling the Navigation Bar, Continue With This Tutorial
- Download the Pie Control Application
- Launch the Pie Control Application
- Configure the Pie Control App to How You Like
- Tap on the ‘Apply’ Button at the Bottom
- Close the Pie Control Application
- Reboot the Nexus 5X
Most of what is required here I have already talked about. I like to write my tutorials as a lead up so that I can reference certain tasks from the past. To do this, we need root access to the Nexus 5X and to do that we need to install a custom recovery on the Nexus 5X. After that has been done, I highly recommend that you create your first Nandroid backup just so you have something on file in case you don’t like this or something goes wrong. I do this modification on all of my devices but there’s always a chance of something going wrong.
Once you have a Nandroid backup, you’ll need to disable the navigation bar on the Nexus 5X. Simply follow the guides linked above and they will walk you through each and every step you need to do in order to get to this point. Once the build.prop file has been edited and saved, you don’t want to reboot just yet. Instead, continue with the tutorial and download the Pie Control application. There are also other alternative solutions here like LMT Launcher and it’s all a personal preference as to which one you like the most. I’ve been using Pie Control for a long, long time and have never had any issues with it. I also love the configuration interface as it is easy to follow and understand.
Once the application has been downloaded, launch the app and then you’ll want to customize it however you like. Some people like 4-5 different buttons/actions in Pie Controls. some like actions set to long presses, some like to see things like the clock. I am a minimalistic type person so I like to disable all of that, change the color to a black and transparent color and just have the Back, Home and Overview button setup on the right side of the screen only. If you notice that to setup a ‘Back’ button, the Pie Controls application needs Accessibility permissions and the application will walk you through when you enable it within the ‘Options’ pull down section.