Today Microsoft released a new Gestures beta for Windows Phone. The app allows you to control phone calls – both incoming and those in progress – without ever touching the screen of your Windows Phone. Sounds cool eh? It actually is very cool and is something that was actually around back in the Windows Mobile 6 days.
The new Gestures beta gives you four primary features as it stands today. Reviewing the release notes, it appears that this is only the beginning and that Microsoft plans on adding more functionality to the app as it goes through the beta process.
First, if you have an incoming call, you can answer that call simply by picking up your Windows Phone and placing next to your ear. The app uses the accelerometer and proximity sensors to figure out that it is next to your head.
Second, if you are in a call, you can mute your microphone by placing your phone face down onto a flat surface such as your desk. I found this works pretty well even when the surface isn’t completely flat such as a bed comforter.
Third, again while you are in a call, you can place a call on speaker by placing your phone face up on a flat surface. Again, this worked just fine on a desk in my testing as well as laying it on a bed and chair.
Finally, if you have an incoming call, you can mute your ringer simply by flipping your Windows Phone over face down on a flat surface.
My testing so far of the Gestures beta has show that it is pretty reliable and I’ve notice no significant challenges in using it on a desk, chair or a bed. Likewise I’ve not had any performance issues on my Lumia 1320 with the app.
The app release notes do indicate that the 630, 635 and 530 do have limited functionality. After loading the app on my Lumia 635 I found that it works but I could not get the flip over function to mute or ignore a call to work.
As a reminder, the Gestures beta for Windows Phone is just that – a beta. It may not work exactly as planned and if you aren’t comfortable with beta software and providing feedback through the feedback mechanism in the app, you may want to avoid it.
Microsoft has put together a quick video showing how the new Gestures beta app works