Replacing Apps Accessed by Long-pressing the Home Button

I just got a new phone. It’s a Motorola Moto M, and it’s a huge step forward from my old phone. I actually don’t want to change my phone after only two years, but I think my old phone is more of a burden than a helpful gadget. Its battery life is crap, not to mention its performance. Lesson learned: better pay a lot for a good device that pay a little for a crappy one.

One of the reasons I chose Motorola is that it offers an almost vanilla Android experience. The only non-stock app it has are Dolby Atmos and Microsoft Office (instead of Google Docs). The Now Launcher is nice, but I prefer something with similar looks but more customization options, like Nova Launcher or Open Launcher.

The only thing I don’t like from this phone is its tight integration to the Google app, which is something I can live without. Swiping right on the home screen will take you to it, as will long-pressing the home button (you can also use it to launch Now On Tap).

App Search +, which uses the same home button gesture as the Google app, is the first thing I’ll install on a new phone. It made multitasking easier since I don’t need to go back to the app drawer to launch an app, and not being attached to the app drawer means that I can have a cleaner homescreen. On my previous phone (running KitKat), long-pressing the home button after installing such app will open a dialog asking which default app you’ll use for the gesture. The dialog doesn’t appear here, and I can’t reset the association from Google’s app properties.

I finally figured out how to do it. Go to Settings>Apps>Advanced (the gear button on top)>Default Apps>Assist & Voice Input. From there you can select which app will be launched by long-pressing the home button.

 

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