Remap the Google Assistant button on the Sony Xperia 5 II with this app
Sony is no longer the kingpin in the smartphone industry it used to be some five years ago. Despite much lower sales than brands like Samsung and Apple, it has been launching promising smartphones with impressive specifications. Last year’s Sony Xperia 5 II is one such phone that comes with Snapdragon 865, a 120Hz OLED display, IP68 water and dust resistance, and more. Surprisingly, the Xperia 5 II still features a headphone jack to complement the dual speakers and comes with a 21:9 display for immersive viewing. However, in contrast to these practical features, it also comes with a dedicated Google Assistant button that has only one utility. While there is no official method to utilize this button but to invoke the Google Assistant, an unofficial mod called “XPERI+” lets you remap this button for other functions.
XPERI+ is created by developer Ivan Iskandar, who has shared a tutorial to use the app on GitHub as well as Reddit. Besides letting you remap the controls on the Google Assistant button, it also adds a bunch of extra features such as Flip to Shush, accidental touch protection, and add-ons to keep the screen and/or CPU awake while you are not using the phone.
To reconfigure the function Google Assistant button using XPERI+, you need to grab the APK installer from the link above and install it. Once you install the app, you will need to grant
READ_LOGS permission using either ADB or via root. After granting this permission, you can assign the Xperia 5 II’s Google Assistant button to either launch an app or activate a shortcut.
In addition to remapping the Google Assistant button, the XPERI+ app can also be used to activate Flip to Shush (exactly like the Flip to Shhh feature on Pixel smartphones). This feature lets you activate Do Not Disturb on your Xperia 5 II by placing it facing downwards.
The XPERI+ app also brings Accidental Touch Prevention, which — as the name suggests — prevents accidental screen touches when the proximity sensor is covered. It also works when the phone gets unlocked, preventing any touches even if you accidentally touch the side-mounted fingerprint scanner while the phone is in your bag or pocket.
The app also brings features called “Coffee,” which keeps the display on the Xperia 5 II awake until you manually lock it, and “Tea,” which keeps the CPU awake while the screen can be turned off by blocking the proximity sensor. Both of these features can also be activated via Quick Settings tiles.
While XPERI+ is crafted while keeping the Sony Xperia 5 II and the Xperia 1 II in mind, you should be able to run it on other recently launched Xperia phones as well. Notably, Flip to Shush might only work if you activate them while the screen is turned on while using the app on other devices.