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Button Savior (Root)

Button Savior (Root)

Losing your Android phone’s hardware buttons due to physical damage or the regular wear and tear can be a costly affair both in terms of money and device usage. If you have been unfortunate enough to experience a similar situation with your device, do not panic because button savior actually saves your “device” from turning into a piece of working but unusable brick.

Button savior basically gives you onscreen controls that trigger the respective hardware/touch button actions. Similar functionality can also be achieved by few other apps like “Virtual button bar” but in the comparison button savior is highly responsive,  stable, customizable and on top of it gives a premium feel.

Button Savior can let you use all of your hardware buttons directly from the screen that are available throughout the device and within any 3rd party app. Buttons including home, menu, back, search, power, volume up, volume down, camera and call(seen in some olden devices) can be accessed from the on-screen button bar. You can even give your device the Ice cream Sandwich virtual buttons look with the ICS themes in the app. There are 12 unique themes to match your style but we personally loved the 2 ICS themes which give a trendy look to your device.

The primary problem with Button savior is that it is not a stock app thus it floats above other controls or item displayed on screen and will not be able to make a dedicated place of its own. Placing it at the bottom of screen may be helpful but may cover your launcher controls and even block menu’s available in most apps. If you are planning to use Button Savior in long term due to an irreparable damage you can overcome the problem by effective placement of the shortcut bar, say you can place the button above (but not on top of) the frequently  used launcher controls or in a vertical alignment on the edges of screen. To overcome covering any other item Button Savior gives a hide button to disable the shortcut bar temporarily and re-enable it with gesture or trigger switch if are not in mood to use the virtual buttons all the time.  The onscreen buttons can be re-enabled by tapping the trigger button which can be effectively placed and have various transparency levels to avoid distraction in 3rd party apps. Optionally the onscreen buttons can be triggered by swiping from the edge of screen. You can choose the side you wish to swipe from, choose onscreen button bar position, bar orientation and many more minor tweaks that are available to adjust your onscreen buttons on the appropriate locations of screen according to your ease of usage.

Button savior also allows long press home button to access recent apps, but on the other hand if you have actions assigned to other buttons on long press, you may not be able to use them with button savior. Another feature we would like to request the developer is the auto start of app on device reboot which is currently not possible and each time your device restarts you will need to re-enable/start button savior app or even better use a custom app to auto start the button savior app.

The free version covers all the above features and requires root to accomplish some actions but not basic hardware key actions. The Pro version also adds the ability to reorder buttons on the bar and also edit action for call and camera button.

If you are looking forward to personalize your device and the change the way you interact with your device or just make it reusable after a damage it couldn’t survive then Button Savior is an app without a second opinion despite the minor limitations it faces due to the OS restrictions.

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This Android app review was performed on HTC Desire (Bravo) running Android 2.3.3

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