Android has always gained the upper hand when it comes to customization. There’s no doubt that most of this tinkering involves root access but the hassle is probably worth it. By default, the physical or hardware buttons on our respective Android device brings a home, back, and recent keys which has been assigned to perform specific functions. However while this buttons seems to be irreplaceable, you can as well relabel or remap them to your preference. A ton of Android apps such as Xposed Addition and Button Remapper can painlessly relabel your hardware buttons thus allowing you to set custom actions, but we’re going to use “Button Mapper” for this procedure since it’s more simple and doesn’t require root access.
Button Mapper is an Android app that makes it easy to map custom actions to your volume buttons, home button, back and recent apps keys. The app can remap your buttons to launch any app, shortcut or custom action. Button Mapper can also remap physical or capacitive keys and buttons on Samsung Galaxy devices, the camera button on Sony devices, and the capacitive home, back and recent apps keys found on many devices such as ASUS, HTC, OnePlus, Xiaomi and other manufacturers. Thus below is our detailed procedure to remap the hardware buttons on your Android phone without rooting.
Install Button Mapper
To begin with, head over to the Google Play Store and install Button Mapper Android app. As I’ve said before, the app is completely free and moreover it does not require any root access.
Now once you open Button Mapper on your device for the first time, you’ll need to grant accessibility settings to the app. This permissions are mandatory if you want the “app” to change hardware keys behavior without root access. Thus to get this one going, press the “Go” button on the bottom of your Android display, then select “Button Mapper” from the list. Now enable accessibility service for the app by toggling the switch at the top of the screen, then hit “OK” if prompted.
Remap Your Buttons
Once the accessibility setup is complete, dive into Button Mapper again. This time you’ll be presented with a clean interface of the app, with the keys you can remap depending on the device you are using. The app only shows a volume button as the hardware keys when tested on my Motorola G since it brings a soft nav bar. However devices such as Samsung and ASUS with hardware navigation keys will show all the keys.
Remapping the eligible hardware button on your phone is as simple as ABC. Thus to remap a button, simply select it from the list, then enable the “Customize” switch at the top of the screen. From here, you can assign a custom single tap or long press action for the preferred button. Simply explore and tinker with othsr available options to get things going.
While Button Mapper seems to be a useful android app, there’s also a limitation. The free version of the app allows remapping of the Home button and volume buttons. However once you upgrade to the apps Pro version, you’ll be able to unlock additional or advanced features most of which supports for back button, recent apps button and camera button. The app also unveil a ton of customization and you can manually tinker with every options to your preference.
After you’ve finished setting up the first button, simply repeat the procedure to setup any other eligible hardware button on your device. One unique thing I love about Button Mapper is the fact that any changes applied does not require reboot thus every options does it’s functions instantly. Now you’ve successfully remapped or relabeled your hardware button without rooting!..