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This might seem like a strange question. Is there some sort of way for an app to launched by pressing the screen for a few seconds on touch screen phones? the reason why I ask is because this would be a great feature for like a panic button. of course the app will have to calibrate to the owner's thumb to prevent accidental pressing from objects in purse or pockets.

Regards.

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I would suggest instead asking the phone manufacturers to add an actual 'Panic' button to their device. –  david6 Nov 24 '12 at 2:54

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As far as I know this isn't really possible. But there are apps available in the Play Store that implement a Panic Button where you can place a button on your home screen (and maybe also your lock screen, but I haven't it yet).

One of those apps I found is Red Panic Button. But you can also have a look in the Play Store yourself if you search for something like Panic Button etc.

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There are several shutdown apps on the market, they all needed root. You can combine them with WidgetLocker and put their icons on your lockscreen for quick shutdown.

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