These days most Android devices come packed with sensors that are designed to help users accomplish range of tasks. If you pick up an Android device, any model for that matter, the first thing that is clearly visible is the proximity sensor. While most Android devices do a decent job of hiding proximity sensor, but still they can be seen under the bezels. However, this is not the only sensor on Android phones, as it turns out most modern smartphones come packed with sensors, which makes one wonder what are they there for in the first place? So, in this post we are going to discuss best ways to use sensors on an Android device. Let’s jump right in.
Before starting, the first you should check is what kind of sensors your phone has. You can find all the information regarding sensors with an app called Sensor Box for Android.
Let’s start by taking a look at the proximity sensor first. It basically detects when a thing gets close to the front of your Android device. It works by emitting a beam and detecting changes in the return signal. It is used to turn the screen off when you answer a call to save battery life and to prevent accidental screen touches.
But what most Android users don’t know is you can use this proximity sensor to perform lots of interesting things on your Android device. For example, there is an app called Wave Control that uses the proximity sensor to allow you to control media playback on your smartphone. Just place a hand in front of the sensor to stop or play video, soundtracks, close and open apps, and much more.
Another really great use of the proximity sensor is made by the KinScreen which allows you to lock and wake up your phone simply by using the proximity sensor to judge when device is in your pocket and when it’s not.
Most Android users don’t know that there is a Magnetometer sensor on smartphones. This is so because Magnetometer is not as visible as the Proximity sensor and its applications are not as widely used. This sensor is capable of detecting the magnetic field around the phone, changes in the fields, and even quantifies the intensity of the magnet field near the device.
One of the best uses of Magnetometer involves using Google cardboard. Those who use the cardboard would know that clicking the magnet on the cardboard trigger access and clicking on things in virtual reality. This is how it works: it detects the changes in the magnetic field and gets the app to trigger the function accordingly.
The accelerometer keeps track of the orientation of the device. For example, if you are playing a game or using an app that requires tilting or moving your phone, such apps use accelerometer to figure out the orientation of the device. One way of using Accelerometer has been made available in Android 7.1.1 Nougat that wakes up device screen when you raise device, which is similar to what iPhone/iPad users get in iOS 10.
You can now get this raise to wake feature on older Android smartphones as well. There is an app called smartWake that gives your device the raise to wake functionality even when running on an older Android firmware versions.
Now let’s check out the rotation bit. Gyroscope sensor marks the trajectory when the device is being moved in circular motion. For example, if you hold your phone up-right and rotate it, the Gyroscope sensor will not notice any change because the phone is still in the same orientation. However, the Gyroscope sensor accurately determines when the device is being rotated and to what extent.
You can get the best out of this function with the apps such as Google Cardboard and for 360-degree videos on YouTube as well. VR games use Gyroscope sensor, one such game is Cyclops Duck Hunt VR.
Camera itself is a sensor so we are going to include it in our list as well. Basically the camera sensor detects light and capture a photo. This camera sensor can also be used in a number of other applications such as Motion Detector that accurately detects camera lens motion for taking the perfect picture with just the right amount of light. You can also use this app to turn Android devices into a kind of security camera. The app works by using the camera feed to detect motion and when it does it automatically takes the picture and sends it to your email. Although it requires a proper security system to work with it, but we suggest not using it anyway tough you can use it for fun to see who enters or leaves your room.
There are lots of useful sensors such as light sensor, temperature sensor, barometer, and others on Android devices that can be used to perform many interesting things.
Well, those were the sensor commonly found on most Android phones these days. Hopefully this post helped you learn more about how to use sensors on Android devices to get more out of them. If you liked this post, make sure to let us know in the comments section below.
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