12.8K reviews
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About this app

WaveUp is an app that wakes up your phone - switches the screen on - when you wave over the proximity sensor.

I have developed this app because I wanted to avoid pressing the power button just to take a look at the watch - which I happen to do a lot on my phone. There are already other apps that do exactly this - and even more. I was inspired by Gravity Screen On/Off, which is a great app. However, I am a huge fan of open source software and try to install free software (free as in freedom, not only free as in free beer) on my phone if possible. I wasn't able to find an open source app that did this so I just did it myself. If you're interested, you can take a look at the code:

Just wave your hand over the proximity sensor of your phone to turn the screen on. This is called wave mode and can be disabled in the settings screen in order to avoid accidental switching on of your screen.

It will also turn on the screen when you take your smartphone out of your pocket or purse. This is called pocket mode and can also be disabled in the settings screen.

Both of these modes are enabled by default.

It also locks your phone and turns off the screen if you cover the proximity sensor for one second (or a specified time). This does not have a special name but can nonetheless be changed in the settings screen too. This is not enabled by default.

For those who have never heard proximity sensor before: it is a small thingie that is somewhere near where you put your ear when you speak on the phone. You practically can't see it and it is responsible for telling your phone to switch off the screen when you're on a call.


This app uses the Device Administrator permission. Therefore you cannot uninstall WaveUp 'normally'.

To uninstall it, just open it and use the 'Uninstall WaveUp' button at the bottom of the menu.

Known issues

Unfortunately, some smartphones let the CPU on while listening to the proximity sensor. This is called a wake lock and causes considerable battery drain. This isn't my fault and I cannot do anything to change this. Other phones will "go to sleep" when the screen is turned off while still listening to the proximity sensor. In this case, the battery drain is practically zero.

Required Android Permissions:

▸ WAKE_LOCK to turn on the screen
▸ RECEIVE_BOOT_COMPLETED to automatically startup on boot if selected
▸ READ_PHONE_STATE to suspend WaveUp while on a call
▸ BLUETOOTH (or BLUETOOTH_CONNECT for Android 10 and abve) to detect bluetooth headsets while on a call and not suspend WaveUp
▸ REQUEST_IGNORE_BATTERY_OPTIMIZATIONS, FOREGROUND_SERVICE and FOREGROUND_SERVICE_SPECIAL_USE to keep running in the background (which is vital for WaveUp in order to always listen to the proximity sensor)
▸ USES_POLICY_FORCE_LOCK to lock the device for Android 8 and below (this forces the user to use a pattern or pin if set)
▸ BIND_ACCESSIBILITY_SERVICE (Accessibility API) to turn off the screen for Android 9 and above.
▸ REQUEST_DELETE_PACKAGES to uninstall itself (if USES_POLICY_FORCE_LOCK was used)

Miscellaneous notes

This is the first Android app I have ever written, so beware!

This is also my first small contribution to the open source world. Finally!

I would love if you could give me feedback of any kind or contribute in any way!

Thanks for reading!

Open source rocks!!!


It would be really cool if you could help translate WaveUp to your language (even the English version could probably be revised).
It's available for translation as two projects on Transifex: https://www.transifex.com/juanitobananas/waveup/ and https://www.transifex.com/juanitobananas/libcommon/.


My special thanks to:

See: https://gitlab.com/juanitobananas/wave-up/#acknowledgments
Updated on
Oct 31, 2023

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Ratings and reviews

12.7K reviews
Derek Rowe
November 18, 2023
I'm using the fairphone 5, and very annoyed that they didn't build in a pocket mode to disable touch input when the proximity sensor is covered. This app's lock screen function works well for me. I left the wave mode off, pocket mode didn't work, vibrate before locking didn't work, changing the delay before locking did work, and I didn't test excluded apps. I'm so grateful to have the screen lock functionality working! It will make my phone so much less annoying!
8 people found this review helpful
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A Google user
October 23, 2019
Pretty good. Works most of the time and doesn't seem to impact my battery life much (thank goodness, because the Samsung GS6 has a tiny battery). However, the app sometimes... I don't know... it goes to sleep or something and stops working. So all day long it will work as intended, but if I don't touch my phone for an hour or so it just won't work at all until I open the app. I suspect my phone is putting the app to sleep, but I already disabled battery management for this app, so I don't know what's going on. Other than that, it's perfect!
87 people found this review helpful
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A Google user
September 27, 2019
I love this app! I use its functionality nearly every time I touch my phone. As others have mentioned, the app has been unstable lately (September 2019). In recent months, about the same time that my Verizon Samsung Note8 upgraded to Android P, the app began to stop intermittently. UPDATE 2019-09-27: After a security update/reboot, I saw that the accessibilty service permission was not set. I set it, and the app is working normally.
43 people found this review helpful
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What's new

New in 3.2.17
★ Remove 'Excluded apps' option from Google Play store versions. F-Droid ones remain fully functional. I'm sorry, but Google doesn't allow WaveUp to read list of installed apps, which is necessary for this.
★ Update German and Russian translations.
★ Add bluetooth permission request for Android 14 and above (needed to know if a headset is connected during a call).