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Help Parent Switching Phone - A Few Questions

Chris Hoffman

Apr 26, 2017
My mother had been using the Note 8 for a very long time. She has been having some issues. So, I bought her a new phone (Pixel 6). I didn't realize how much grief the new phone would give her. There are three things I want to ask if there is any way possible. I fear a couple may be a long shot. Thanks much in advance for any insight.

1) She is used to the Task Switcher -- Home -- Back order for navigation buttons. I have told her she'll get used to it, but she's quite frustrated over these (what she considers to be major, but most people minor) issues, and anything that could be solved would help. Is there any way to get the task switcher and back button placement reordered?

EDIT: I believe I actually found how to do this one with ADB. I will try that for her tomorrow.

2) She plays games that go full screen. On her Samsung phone, she could long press on where the home button "normally" is, even though you can't see it, and it would take her home. She can't do that anymore. You have to swipe from the right (up in horizontal orientation), and then press home. Again, not a big deal, but she apparently does this A LOT during the day, and plus she is left handed, and finds it awkward to swipe that way, she says. Is there any way to provide this home "area" long press functionality? Open to using a different launcher (already had a look around Nova).

3) Is there any other keyboard app that has the outline on keys like the Samsung keyboard that also offers the height customization and semi-comparable? I know there are a lot of keyboard apps. I like Gboard myself, and I have that setup pretty well on there for her, but she did really like the way the Samsung app "looked".
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This is the look she is after in the Samsung keyboard. High contrast is what it's called, I believe.


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Does the Pixel 6 not have the option to turn off the gestures and use the old-style buttons instead? My wife's Pixel 5 (running android 12) does, as did my old Pixel 2, so I'd expect the 6 to be the same. Maybe search the settings for "gestures", since that's where it used to be on my Pixel 2.

To be honest I use the buttons myself, simply because it is faster and more reliable than the task switching gesture (swipe up and pause is unavoidably slower, and even as someone who is comfortable switching between UIs I find it more error prone than any other navigation method Android has had in the 12 years I've been using it).

I currently have a Galaxy s21, and I don't have (and have never heard of) this "press where the home button should be" function. It doesn't exist on my phone even if I use Samsung's launcher (I tested that after reading this), and I've never met it on any previous phone (though I've not owned older Samsungs). So I'm not optimistic about this one: my guess is that it may have been a Samsung addition that Samsung have dropped at some point since the Note 8 (they do that).

I've never used the Samsung keyboard, but there are plenty of keyboards which offer theming (including high contrast boards and outlined keys) and height adjustment. Are you sure GBoard can't do that? I don't have it installed currently so can't test myself. I know SwiftKey can, if you want something with a decent predictive text engine and aren't allergic to Microsoft (no worse than Google or Samsung in my book).
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