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Review Navigation Layer
Add invisible gesture navigation functions on your screen
Author: Jay Feldman
Date: 26 Jun 2014, tested on ASUS Nexus 7 (2013)
Interesting functionality, neat design
Certain features require Root, needs to be elaborated, glitches
Navigation Layer for Android is a very interesting quick launcher that uses gestures, but virtually no icons, drawers or anything visible. It needs more work, but is very cool.
Navigation Layer was a little confusing for me at first because the included tutorial did not function and caused the system to hang and ultimately crash. But I muddled through and figured out that the name itself is a clue – this app ads an invisible layer on your phone’s screen that activates the left and right sides of your device so they can be used for gesture commands. Just place your finger on either the far left or far right of the screen and swipe up, down, etc. to launch applications and various commands that you can custom set. All the commands can be tweaked to do various things, like, open the last used application, go to home screen, etc. The list of possible commands is comprehensive; just check out the screen shots to get an idea of what’s available.
Some commands require root access, but most do not. Some features require the paid app. The first thing you’ll want to do with this app, is adjust the width and size of the active areas to proportions of your liking. For me, I was having a hard time getting the app to recognize my gestures, so I set the width of the active navigation layer to its absolute widest. That one tweak made a world of difference in how this app functioned; taking it from dud, to invaluable.
Navigation Layer still has a lot of quirks that need to be ironed out. It functions a little more like a beta than a finished and polished app, but it’s very close. Once they get it working right, this app should be a smash hit for the developers. It adds a completely new, original and highly functional feature set to your Android gizmo. I think once you get used to having this, it would be very difficult to live without it. Yes, it’s buggy and needs some work, but Navigation Layer has the potential to be one of the greats once it’s functioning flawlessly.