I want to be able to redefine what the hardware buttons on my Motorola Droid do. By buttons I mean the 4 capacitive buttons on the bottom: Back, Menu, Home & Search and the Camera button and Volume buttons on the side. I have seen several apps that allow you to change what the Camera and Search buttons do but I want the ability to redefine them all. Can this be done? If so, how?

  • Possible motivation for re-mapping the hardware buttons is using the Android as something other than a personal phone. We use Androids as research devices, taking survey data. I don't even equip the field units with SIM cards. So, the phone is not really needed. It would be great if I could map the green Phone/Send button to launch my survey application instead.
    – m0j0
    Commented Jan 12, 2011 at 14:09
  • I am not sure those buttons would be configurable. They would be defined in the firmware so I would think the only real way would be to get custom firmware, but even then I doubt any one would change how these work. What is the purpose of changing the buttons? Maybe what you are trying to achieve can be dealt in a different way
    – joevartuli
    Commented Jan 12, 2011 at 14:09

4 Answers 4


Got it, ButtonRemapper.


Button Shortcut will let you assign shortcuts to the camera and search buttons.

The home button could be replaced with another home launcher-like app that handles that intent.

However, I do not believe you will be able to re-map the menu and and back buttons without root access to the phone's system due to security reasons. Although within an application you should be able to programatically take control over these buttons with listener events (but it is strongly discouraged to override the default behavior of the back button without valid reasons).

  • Looks like that app is no longer available. Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 15:47

Tasker looks like it allows you to remap at least some of the hardware buttons.

Note that the Android OS spec has some very specific requirements for Android devices. You may not be able to remap certain things.


I own a Droid (or rather, its brother Milestone, the GSM version of Droid) and I found its hardware keys not so durable: my power/lock key stopped functioning after a year and the volume down button is failing too. So you might wanna give it a second thought if the durability is ever a concern (I cannot lock/unlock my phone with a press of button anymore). In fact there are quite some apps out there trying to do the reverse, i.e. mapping hardware keys to on-screen touch buttons.

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