We all cannot afford expensive mobile phones like Huawei Honor, Samsung Galaxy or Sony Experia. Those of us who do not have the budget to buy these highly sought after phones compromise with some features and have to stay content with lower end mobile phones. There are two main problems with such low end mobile phones – the manufacturer almost never updates the Android OS to latest version (so if you bought an Android KitKat phone, then it will never get updated to a newer Android version like Lollipop or Marshmallow) and the hardware of the low end mobile phones gets worn out easily.
Take my Android KitKat mobile for example – its volume up hard button does not work and the power button has to be pressed a little harder to make it work. These buttons are of cheap quality and they wear out easily after being pressed only a few hundred times. An easy way to prolong the life of these hard buttons (basically the power button, volume up button and the volume down buttons) is by avoiding their use on a regular basis. The free app (or rather a widget) called ZERO Lock Screen can help you do exactly that.
This app really does nothing but locks the screen of your device – just as you would do by short-pressing the power button. This app has no options at all and there is no user interface to be seen. But you can drag the icon of this app on the home-screen of your Android device and touch it whenever you want to lock the screen. This way you are avoiding having to use the power button of your phone and thereby extending its life by roughly a factor of two.
The ZERO Lock Screen app does not automatically prolong the life of the power button in Android devices, unless you get in the habit of using it every time you need to lock the device.
You can download & install ZERO Lock Screen from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zeroteam.lockwidget.
Thank you for an interesting article. I found this looking for ways that I can extend the life of my expensive Samsung tablet (received as a gift). On this tablet there is a special “home” button that is just waiting to break. But in the Internet there seem to be 100 “isn’t this new technology great” articles for every “let’s take care of the device we already have” article.
If any readers want the capability to create your own widgets in order to replace buttons, you can use Elixir, a fabulous app. It is not for the technologically faint of heart. I do not really like the user interface, it’s kind of stark and feels like it was created by a programmer for programmers. But I very much like the fact it does what I need. You can use the basic features without understanding the extravagant ones. And I am very visual and love the ability to pick my own pictures and labels for the widget’s icons. The developer is totally cool. I sent him email asking whether or not Elixir would do a certain thing he told me that it was never going to do that and why. Not what I wanted to hear but I respected it and the fact that he got back to me the day after I sent him email. There is a forum where you can ask questions too.
If the power button is broken, you can easily create a 1×1 widget that has one button that can put your tablet to sleep, or a 2×1 widget that has a second button which controls the number of minutes until the tablet goes to sleep on its own. If your volume button is broken you can create a number of different volume profiles. For example I have one in which all volumes are turned up 100%, another profile in which everything is “silence”, and one in which one in which “alarm” is the only volume turned on.
Unfortunately it does not allow me to have power over this problematic home button. But I’ll keep looking on the Internet. I hope that this information is useful to someone someday. Thanks again.
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