Shake your Android phone to trigger actions


How different can you shake your phone? Horizontally, vertically, forward, backward, and casual (simple) shake in any direction, even diagonally.

Shake is an android app that detects phone shake and performs action for it. It comes with a set of most commonly used “action” on your phone for each kind of shakes by default. An action can be running an app or controlling apps/features. You can’t customize it with your own actions, though.

You might change what actions to perform at different time of the day. When you commute you want the map app to open when you shake, and while at the cafeteria you might want to open twitter app or foursquare or instagram app. You can customize it every time. There isn’t an automatic schedule for what action to set at different times though.

Horizontal shake to open camera app and vertical shake to open instagram would be a nice combo, food photographers can appreciate.

There is also a casual or simple shake, like the one you make when you pick the phone from the desk and you can set actions for that as well.

First run after install:

After installing and running it, you need to grant app the access to use your phone sensors. Only then, you see the menu screen (image below). You see that menu screen every time you open the app.

shake app menu

The first item on the menu is where you set actions for different kind of shakes (image above). Down below are other settings. You can choose to start the service when the phone starts, so that it can recognize the shakes even when the app isn’t running, it’s a background service. Selecting vibrate when shaken, vibrates your phone so you can know if the shake has been recognized. Also there is a notification that pops up after shake to let you know what app is currently going to be ran or what app settings it’s going to set.

You can as well set the sensors sensitivity. Higher the sensitivity, lesser the shake is enough to trigger actions and vice-versa.

shake options

At the first run, it’s set to run to an app, but you need to select what app that’s going to be. You can tap on where it says select action to bring up a list of items to select for a vertical or horizontal shake. The list of items are,

  • Run an installed app
  • Turn flashlight on/off
  • Switch ringer mode
  • Turn screen on
  • Expand status bar
  • Turn 3G on/off
  • Turn Wifi on/off
  • Turn auto rotate on/off
  • Turn auto brightness on/off
  • Turn speaker on/off
  • Control music player
  • Show/Hide recent used apps

Since by default it’s set to “Run an installed app” you need to tap on that to bring up the action list.

On the set action screen you see pro, advanced and simple. Pro has forward shake in addition to what “advanced” has – horizontal and vertical. Simple is any casual shake.


With 4 kinds of shake, Shake is quite an useful app that lets you do things without doing anything on the phone except shaking it. After you get the hang of it, you can play with it to make your tasks simpler and easier. It however has ads and you need to get a pro version to remove it. However, an option of choosing what actions to be set automatically for different shakes based on your timing would be helpful.

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