When you squeeze the sides of the Google Pixel 2 or Google Pixel 3, it launches Google Assistant. This feature, known as Active Edge, can be tweaked in Android Q to launch a different assistant app (via XDA Developers).
As a forewarning, this feature isn’t a simple one to turn on – it will require access to the Android Debug Bridge (ADB). If you are unfamiliar with ADB, you can learn a bit about it from our guide to flashing custom ROMs.
To remap Active Edge to a different assistant app, you’ll first need to get your Pixel 2 or 3 attached to your PC with a USB cable. Fire up an ADB command prompt and enter the following:
adb shell settings put secure assist_gesture_any_assistant 1
Once that command has processed, grab your Pixel and perform the following steps (check the screenshots for assistance):
- Navigate to Settings.
- In Settings, navigate to Apps & Notifications > Default Apps > Assist & Voice Input > Assist App.
- You should now see a list of your available assistant apps. Choose the one you want Active Edge to activate.
- Squeeze the sides of your phone – the selected assistant app should launch.
According to XDA Developers, there is also a way to assign the app Tasker as an assistant app, which would then allow you to map Active Edge to pretty much any action you like, such as launching your music app, turning on the flashlight, or even shutting down the phone (not advisable). However, we were unable to get Tasker to appear on the list of available assistant apps, so we can’t verify that this works.
Since this Active Edge trick is pretty hidden within Android Q, there’s no guarantee it will make it to the stable build. It would be nice though, as more user control over smartphone functions is always welcome.