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Pressy gives your Android phone an extra button

23

The power button and volume rocker are typically the only physical controls you'll find on a smartphone as almost all functions are accessed via soft-buttons on the touchscreen these days. Sometimes a hard button can allow for quicker access to certain functions though. Dedicated camera shutter buttons, like on Nokia's Lumia devices or the Sony Xperia Z1, are a good example.

The Pressy button is a new accessory that adds an additional programmable hard button to your Android device. It slots into your smartphone's headphone socket and once inserted is hardly visible. After downloading and installing the corresponding app you're ready to go. Pressy comes with three default actions out of the box:

  • One short click to toggle your flashlight
  • One long click to toggle your phone in and out of silent mode
  • Double-click to snap a photo

However, the button is fully customizable, too, so you can assign all sorts of functions to a specific combination of button clicks in the Pressy app. For example you could assign two short clicks to calling a contact or capturing a screenshot.

If you have an Android phone with the headphone socket at the bottom, like the LG G2, Pressy arguably won't work that well for you but otherwise it looks like a really good idea. That said, it would be even more interesting for mobile photographers if it supported a half-press, just like a real camera shutter button. The Pressy button was funded through a now finished Kickstarter project but you pre-order one now for $27 from the Pressy website or watch the video below for more information.


  

Comments

Total comments: 23
TSeiler

My current Android phone has a dedicated button for the camera. Push it and hold it for a second to activate the camera app. Then the button acts like a shutter, and it is also located in the right spot. It is a ZTE Valet.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm

there are a few phones with dedicated shutter buttons, the Sony Xperia Z1 for example or the Nokia Lumias. Definite advantage if you take many pics with your phone.

0 upvotes
Peiasdf

The same thing is available from cellphone maker Xiaomi for much cheaper.

According to some on on Engadget, "xiaomiworld has two versions. One is the "Original Xiaomi MiKey" for $4.99 and only compatible with xiaomi & hongmi phones (according to their listing). The second is the "Klick MiKey" for $5.99 (supposedly on sale from $9.99)."

2 upvotes
Michael She

A hardware mute button is desperately needed.

0 upvotes
Michael Piziak

Looks like a good idea.

0 upvotes
xMichaelx

My first Android phone - the OG Droid - had a dedicated camera button that (unlike this one) was actually located in the right place: about 3/4 of the way down the right side. You could snap a pic just like using a camera.

It's a damn shame all phone's don't have those.

1 upvote
Tom Z

The Moto X does... Just twist the phone two times to open the camera app, then use one of the volume buttons to take the picture. I use it all the time!

0 upvotes
T3

I think the real advantage of a physical camera button is if it allows a half-press to lock focus, lock exposure, or both, like the shutter button on a real camera. But if all a physical button does is just take the photo, with no half-press capability, then I'm fine with just using the virtual shutter button on the touchscreen.

0 upvotes
joe6pack

What took Pressy so long??? This article belongs in 2013!

They got pwned by Xiaomi MiKey, costing just $0.79!

http://www.engadget.com/2014/04/02/xiaomi-pressy-clone/

No doubt Xiaomi copied their design. But then, it is hard to say if Pressy's idea is original or not. After all, controls using 3.5mm plug has been around for quite some time.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
DaddyG

thanks joe 6 pack for completing the article.

1 upvote
Greg Garner

You should really check the Dimple out, I'm waiting for their launch to buy one, it works with nfc and has four buttons. Pressy still have not shipped my order even though it has been over 6 months...

3 upvotes
speculatrix

yeah, dimple looks good
http://dimple.io/

0 upvotes
DanielFjall

Looks difficult to remove.

0 upvotes
hydrospanner

Hopefully they come out with one that's set up to allow half-press autofocus.

I used a Motorola Droid X several years ago that had a dedicated shutter button with half-press AF and I've been looking for that feature in a high end phone ever since.

0 upvotes
ivan1973

Xiaomi Mikey is just a dollar.

http://phandroid.com/2014/04/02/xiaomi-clones-pressy-and-charges-less-than-1-for-it/

0 upvotes
LensBeginner

Nice ide... twenty seven what!?!?

1 upvote
dccdp

It's a nice idea, but I really need that headphones socket.

0 upvotes
Eleson

Kudos to those having brilliant ideas. Not everything needs massive development and research fundings, just smart people seeing the need and potential.

1 upvote
Impulses

It's actually pretty clever and very well thought out tho, not just a one-off idea... Seems they've put a lot of work into the app (tho an enthusiast could just as well use something like Tasker, more daunting to the average user), and they went thru a few prototypes not just for the button itself but for the keychain/cord holder for it, etc. Seems they've put a lot more polish into it than some other first-run Kickstarter projects.

0 upvotes
Artistico

Nice video. And it looks like it's a useful little thing too, unlike so many other Kickstarter projects (HACKxTACK, anyone?)

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Arn

I haven't received mine either (pre-ordered ages ago) and I don't see any updated info on their website. I'm excited about the product, though. A simple yet very useful gadgett-app combination.

0 upvotes
Impulses

Went looking thru my e-mails, their last estimate was mid May (in an e-mail sent out last month). Think it was delayed from the original March date...

0 upvotes
Impulses

They haven't even shipped their KS orders have they? At least I haven't received mine, tho I'm eager to.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 23
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