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How To Video: Customize Android's Home button shortcut

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How To Video: Customize Android's Home button shortcut

2:32 /

Override your Android phone's defaults and program the Home button to be a shortcut to whichever app you'd like. Sharon Vaknin shows you how.

Depending on what kind of phone you have, the Home button does different things. Of course, one tap always takes you home, but a double tap or a long press does something different. On the S4, for example, a long press launches the list of recent apps, and a double tap launches S-Voice. Some phones let you change these settings, but on the S4 and many others, you're stuck with what you've got-- unless of course, you've got to work around. With my setup, a long press still launches the list of recent apps, but watch this-- a double tap launches the camera. Here's how it's done. Go to the Google Play store and install the Home2 Shortcut app for free. When it's done installing, launch it directly from that download page. You'll see it's a pretty bare bones app, which is okay. Once this is set up, you won't really have to look at it again. Here in step one, choose the app you want to launch whenever the Home button is double-tapped. For me, I'm choosing camera, but it can be whatever app you want quick access to no matter where you are on the phone. For now, keep this interval setting at normal. You can change it later if you find you want the response to be faster or slower. Finally, down here, choose the launcher you're using. If you don't have a launcher like Apex or Go Launcher installed or you have no clue what I'm talking about, choose your default launcher. For me, that's TouchWiz. And you're almost set. Hit the Home button, then choose Home2 Shortcut, and hit Always. Now, let's see if it works. Give the Home button a double tap, and you should see your shortcut in action. If you're on the S4 and it's still launching S-Voice, go to the S-Voice settings and uncheck this option. That should fix it. If you're liking this shortcut business, Home2 also lets you program combos like Home and then the Back button, or Home and then Menu. Give them a try if you want quick access to other apps, too. All right, guys. If you have any questions, hit me up on Twitter and check out HowTo. CNET.com for more Android tips and tricks. For CNET, I'm Sharon Vaknin.
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