Mobile operating systems will often reserve a certain functionality for a stock feature. An example of this is how iOS allows only the camera to be accessible from the lock screen, and how Android Lollipop similarly only allows access to the camera and dialer app. With the camera, no one grudges the OS owning how it is accessed. Both operating systems go much further reserving swipe up and swipe down functions on all screens but with Android you can change it very easily. Now Gesture Tweaks is an Android app that lets you change the default swipe up function reserved by the default Google Now launcher. The app has a free version and a premium version. The free version is limited to only letting you select which app is launched, open all apps, or open the notification center when you swipe up from the bottom of the screen. The premium version lets you do much more. The app doesn’t require a rooted device but if your device is rooted, you will get extra functions that you can assign to the swipe up gesture.
Launch the app and tap ‘Select Action’. You will be given a list of all actions that the free version of the app supports as well as the actions that the full version supports. The actions that require a rooted device are duly labelled. With the free app, you can assign an app to launch, open the app drawer, open the notifications drawer, or just have it do nothing.
Once you’ve picked the action, swipe up from the bottom. You’ll be prompted to select which app you want to use to respond to this gesture. Select Now Gesture Tweaks when prompted and set it so that the app is always used to execute the gesture. The thing I like most about this app, other than the actions it supports, is that it lets you deactivate the swipe up gesture so that nothing happens when you make it on your screen. Since there isn’t a way to shut off Google Now, this is thoughtful on the developer’s part.