As touchscreen phones continue to evolve, the need for physical buttons seems less and less pronounced. While hard keys may seem like an endangered component on mobile devices, save for the Samsung Galaxy line, it’d be difficult to fathom a world where volume keys are absent.
However, the volume buttons on an Android smartphone don’t have to be limited to strictly lowering and raising sounds. You can make them do almost anything, from launching apps to scrolling through webpages.
1 Launch Your Favorite Apps (Android 4.0+)
Using your volume buttons to launch an application is a great way to save some home screen space and access your favorite app without needing to search for it. Along with launching apps, you’ll also be able to perform a number of additional tasks.
2 Wake Your Device (Android 3.0+)
We’re all familiar with using the power key to wake the screen; it’s an everyday practice. To make things even easier, or if your power button is weak or busted, you can give your volume keys this same ability.
3 Scroll Through Pages (Android 4.0+, Root)
Scrolling is easy enough, but why not make it easier. Leave your hand where it is and use the volume rockers to scroll up and down in designated applications.
4. Control Music with the Screen Off (Android 2.5 – 5.0, Root)
There’s no need to wake or unlock your device when the volume keys are perfectly capable of playing and skipping tracks. It’s a convenient mod that enhances the music-listening experience on your Android device.
5. Adjust the Text Cursor’s Placement (Android 4.0.3+, Root)
I have always struggled with text editing on Android, as I regularly battled with placing the cursor in the exact spot I needed it. But not anymore—with a simple mod I’m able to move the cursor forward and backwards by pressing the volume up and down buttons.
6. Secretly Record Videos (Android 2.3+)
You never know when a special moment will commence right before your eyes; some unique or embarrassing circumstance that you want to catch on video. In attempt to remain inconspicuous, initiate a secret video recording with the volume buttons just like a spy.
7. Lock Down Apps (Android 3.0+, Issues in Lollipop)
While using a PIN or passcode to lock an application isn’t anything new, locking your apps with a stealthy volume combination is. A passcode is easy to figure out if someone is looking over your shoulder, so make it harder to crack by using your volume keys.
8. Unlock Your Device (Android 4.0-4.4.4, Root)
Waking your device with a volume key is useful, but completely unlocking it and bypassing the lock screen is even more convenient. With a secret combination of your choosing, you can unlock your Android device with a sequence of volume key presses.
9. Quickly Launch Your Flashlight (Android 4.0+, Root)
When you need your flashlight, you need it now, so make activating your smartphone’s torch even faster by using the volume buttons. This can be done without having to wake or unlock the device.