Accidentally launching apps at edge of screen

When I press the power button to lock the screen of my Librem 5, I very often end up unintentionally launching apps because I can’t seem to avoid touching the edges of the screen where their icons are located. The first I know of it is when the app pops up on the screen, as if it were yelling “Surprise!”.

Sometimes my reaction is fast enough that I can close the unwanted app before I press the button. Other times, I am already too far committed to pressing the button and I end up having to press it again, unlock the screen, close the app and then lock it again!

Sometimes I even launch apps accidentally when I am simply shifting the position of my hand for comfort, or placing the device down on a surface.

I think it would be better if there was a margin down either side of the screen with no icons in it, but that seems like such an obvious and trivial improvement that I would have thought it would already have happened by now, which makes me think maybe nobody else actually has a problem with the current arrangement. Is it just me who accidentally launches apps like this?

Maybe there a knack to holding a phone that avoids accidental touches like this, and everyone else already learnt how to do it years ago while I was stubbornly refusing to buy a disposable smart phone that was answerable to Big Tech.

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Too true👍

Seconded. I have this problem on the Librem 5 but I also have the same problem on iPhone.

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Try in Settings → Privacy → Screen Lock to increase the Automatic Screen Lock Delay. Then, you will not have to enter the pin immediately after you turned off the screen.

I do not have any issues like yours. I use my thumb on my right hand for locking the screen, and the other fingers are all on the left side where the hardware kill switches and SIM card slot tray are.

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Unfortunately, this setting only goes down to 30 seconds, which is much too long. (3 to 5 seconds would be ideal.)

Perhaps what is actually needed is a setting that forbids app launches in the 5 seconds before I lock the screen. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

It looks like there are Android apps for people who have this accidental screen edge touching problem, including, rather amusingly, an app from Samsung to help people who keep touching the edges of the screen on Samsung phones with screens that curve around the edge of the phone. Prevent Unintentional Screen Touches with Edge Touch App | Samsung SG

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You’re “not holding it right.” :wink:

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I can choose 30 seconds, 1,2,3,5,30 minutes in there.

I think @patch is saying that he wants a shorter time period i.e. choices that are less than 30 seconds - and he suggests 3 to 5 seconds.

That is just enough time to notice that putting the phone to sleep launched an application, not have to unlock the phone, close the application … and try again.

These are just workarounds though. I think the right solution is, as suggested in the OP, being able to control the layout of the icons so as to leave a small right margin.

Possible hacky workround: Land an inoperative icon in the layout exactly adjacent to the sleep button?

(so no change to layout, no margin, just one icon in the right place that does nothing when touched)

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That’s correct. I actually use a delay of 5 seconds on my laptop, which is just long enough to cancel a screen lock if, for example, I am reading a document on the screen but haven’t made any input for a while. (Or if I am daydreaming!)

Actually, I would have thought that the Automatic Screen Lock Delay setting should actually should only apply when the screen turned off because it timed out, not because you manually turned off the screen.

This would not work for me. It seems to be a slightly random choice between the four icons on the bottom end of the left edge (most common) or the four icons on the bottom end of the right edge (less common).

Having given it some thought, I think part of the issue is that, very often, I have put the phone down on a surface, intentionally not locking it. Then, some time later, I want to switch off or lock the screen.

The most natural way to grip the phone to press the button using my right hand is to brace the left edge with my thumb and press the button with the side of my middle finger. This causes the part of my palm adjacent to the thumb to brush against the screen.

It’s much easier with the left hand, because then I brace the left edge with the fingertips and press the button with the tip of the thumb. This gives much better clearance from the screen. But it is more natural for me to place the phone to my right, and often the layout of furniture forces me to place it to my right.

Even picking the phone up off of the surface doesn’t help, because the most natural way to pick it up is likely to result in my hand brushing the screen! I think this is often what happens. I am about to pick it up and put it in my pocket, so I pick it up and press the button at the same time.

I’ve just come up with a method that should help to avoid touching the screen: Position my right hand with the thumb on the mic/camera kill switch, my index finger on the cellular kill switch, my middle and ring fingers on the top edge of the phone and my little finger on the power/lock button. This results in a grip shape similar to what you might use to pick up a tennis ball, over just the top end of the phone. I can’t easily pick the phone up like that, but I can turn the screen off, then I can reposition my hand and pick it up normally and it won’t matter if I touch the (off) screen.

Apart form having regions of the screen that don’t respond to touch, another solution would be to place the button in a different physical location on the next major version of the hardware.

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