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Ease Touch user guide

Introduction

Ease Touch is an Android app which allows you to control all the actions of a mobile device using a single finger, even when dexterity problems exist, including tremors, spasticity, and other issues. Therefore, Ease Touch might be useful for people with a traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, parkinson's disease or essential tremors, for instance.

The principle of operation of Ease Touch is based on capturing all touches you perform on the screen and providing an alternative tactile access with multiple customization capabilities to remove unintended actions and just perform those you want to.

We will show you, step by step, how to get started, how to set up and how to take the most from Ease Touch.

Installation

You can skip this section if you have already installed Ease Touch in your device.

Pre-requisites: Ease Touch requires Android 7.0 or higher.

To install Ease Touch:

  1. Open Play Store app
  2. Search for “ease touch
  3. Tap on the result named “Ease Touch (assistive technology)” (usually the first).
  4. Tap on “Install” button

First start

The first time you run Ease Touch it asks you to grant some permissions and to accept the End User License Agreement (EULA).

  1. Tap on the Ease Touch icon. Once started, Ease Touch will ask you to grant permission to draw over other apps. This is needed to display elements like menus and buttons over other apps.
  2. Tap on “Continue” and, on the next screen, enable the “Allow permission” switch. Once done, if you are not automatically returned to Ease Touch, just press back.
  3. To continue, read the license agreement and tap “OK” to accept them.
  4. Tap “Open accessibility settings” on the Ease Touch screen. This should open the accessibility settings page of your device. In case this page is not automatically opened, manually browse to the accessibility setting screen of your device.
  5. Look for “Ease Touch” service and tap on it.
  6. Tap on the switch to enable the Ease Touch accessibility service.
  7. Finally, tap on “OK” on the confirmation dialog.

Getting started

In this section we will familiarize with the Ease Touch basic operation. Remember that once Ease Touch is enabled, all your touches on the screen are redirected to Ease Touch which manages the actual interaction with your device.

  1. To open the Ease Touch main screen, tap on the “Ease Touch” icon in the menu of your device.
  2. To start Ease Touch, tap on the “Enable Ease Touch” switch.
  3. Touch anywhere on the screen and slide your finger. You’ll see a red cross following your finger. Notice how, while you keep moving, no action is performed.
  4. As a test, stop your finger over the “Enable Ease Touch” switch and wait until the red cross disappears and you feel a slight vibration. Then release your finger and the click will be automatically performed.

While Ease Touch is enabled you can minimize it to return your device to its normal operation mode. A button in the bottom left corner allows you to enable it again.

  1. While Ease Touch is enabled, touch the screen with four fingers at the same time or with two fingers on two opposite corners of the screen at the same time. Ease Touch is minimized as a button in the bottom left corner. NOTE: some device do not support more than two simultaneous touches.
  2. Use your device as usual.
  3. When you need to restore Ease Touch, click on the minimize button.

While using Ease Touch, in some screens you will see one or two buttons in the corners of the screen with an arrow inside. These are the scroll buttons and are used to move through the contents of the app (e.g. to scroll down a web page). These buttons, however, are not always available and its behavior is app dependent (the scroll could be either in the vertical or in the horizontal direction depending on the application). To overcome these limitations, Ease Touch provides an alternative scrolling mechanism as we will see later.

Basic configuration

As we have seen in the previous section, Ease Touch process your touches and allows you to move through the screen and touch it without performing any action until you confirm. Ease Touch offers three operation modes to do so:

  • Hold to accept. To make click, keep touching without moving for a moment until the countdown expires (its duration can be configured) and you feel a slight vibration. Then, release your finger and the click will be automatically performed. This is the default mode (seen it in the previous section) and the appropriate for most people.
  • Accept on release. In this mode the click is executed just after you release your finger from the screen. Once the click is made, the screen turns into gray and your additional touches are ignored for a moment (the time is configurable). It is similar to the “Hold to accept” mode but without a countdown. As no initial countdown is involved, this mode is generally faster than the other two.
  • Accept by time. In this mode when you move your finger away from the screen, a countdown is started over the last touched position. Once the countdown is over, the click is automatically performed. To cancel an ongoing countdown, just touch again the screen.

To set the input mode:

  1. Tap the “Settings” button from the Ease Touch main screen.
  2. Tap “Mode
  3. Tap the desired operation mode in the dialog

We suggest to try each mode and choose the one that better suits your needs.

Action Menu

This menu provides access to multiple features. To open the Action Menu, click on the button in the lower left corner of the screen. The available entries in such a menu are:

  • Back. Goes back. The same as pressing the system back button.
  • Home. Goes home. The same as pressing the home system button.
  • Overview. Displays the currently open applications. The same as pressing the overview or recents system button.
  • Scroll. Select scroll mode. See below..
  • Zoom in. Allows you to zoom into (i.e. enlarge) content.
  • Zoom out. Allows you to zoom out (i.e. shrink) content.
  • Swipe. Select swipe mode. See below.
  • Long press. Select the long press mode. Once in this mode, the next click will perform a long press gesture. Long presses can reveal additional modes and features. For instance, when you perform a long press on the background of the home screen to set up the wall paper.
  • Minimize. Minimize Ease Touch as described before.
  • Notifications. Opens the app bar or action bar revealing pending notifications and other options.
  • Button position. Changes the position of the button that opens the Action Menu.
  • Double tap. Select the double tap mode. Once in this mode, the next click will perform a double tap. Double taps are used to zoom into and out contents.

Scroll and swipe gestures

Scroll gestures are used to move continuously through content, for instance, to scroll the contents of a web page or a map. Swipe gestures are used to slide elements, for instance, to unlock your smartphone or to discard a notification.

To scroll contents:

  1. Open the Action Menu
  2. Click on the “Scroll” button to enter the scroll mode. You will see an icon in the center of the screen.
  3. To scroll contents, click in one direction around the scroll icon.
  4. To exit this mode, click to the close button at the upper part of the screen.

To perform a swipe gesture:

  1. Open the Action Menu
  2. Click on the Swipe button to enter the swipe gesture mode.
  3. Click on location of the screen in which the swipe gesture will start.
  4. Click on the location of the screen in which the gesture will end.

Settings reference

To open the settings screen, tap on the “Settings” button in the Ease Touch main screen. The available options are:

  • Mode. Mode selection. See above.
  • Wait time. When using the “Accept by time” or “Hold to accept” mode, this setting allows you to set the duration, in tenths of a second, of the countdown.
  • Wait after click. When using the “Accept on release” mode, this setting adjusts the time between you release your finger and touches are accepted again.
  • Enable vibration. Only for “Hold to accept” mode. When checked, your device will vibrate briefly once the countdown is over.
  • Touch with four fingers to minimize. When Ease Touch is enable and this entry is checked, you can minimize Ease Touch by touching the screen with four fingers simultaneously. Note that you will be always able to minimize Ease Touch by touching simultaneously on two opposite corners of the screen.
  • Enable scroll buttons. If checked, the scroll buttons previously mentioned are available.
  • Simplify scroll buttons. Some apps may have a complex layout with multiple scrollable areas which would led to multiple scroll buttons on the screen. This proved to be confusing for some users. When this setting is enabled, Ease Touch limits the number of buttons to up to two and heuristically tries to choose those more natural for the user.
  • Play sound click. If checked, a brief sound will be play every time you make click.
  • Hide bars. When checked, hide the red bars.
  • Interface elements size. Sets the size of various user interface elements.
  • Menu type. Lets to choose what kind of Action Menu Ease Touch should use.
    • None. No action menu is displayed. Not recommended.
    • Big. This is the default.
    • Dock. In this case, an always visible menu is presented attached to one of the sides of the screen. This kind of menu is intended for more advanced users.
  • Position (dock). Lets to choose in which side of the screen the dock menu is attached.
  • Available actions. In this screen you customize which actions are available through the Action Menu. Apart from those already seen before, there are additional actions you might choose:
    • Pinch. This action allows to you to manually create a pinch gesture. Pinch gestures are usually used to zoom into and out contents.
    • Scroll left/down/up/right. Perform a scroll gesture for a specific direction.
    • Swipe left/down/up/right. Perform a swipe gesture for a specific direction.
  • Minimized button location. Sets the position on the screen in which the minimize button is displayed.

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We are grateful to

Associació Provincial de Paràlisi Cerebral (APPC) de Tarragona
Fundació ASPACE Catalunya
Federación Española de Parkinson
Fundación Vodafone España