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Exiting Full-Screen Activities

By default, users exit Android Wear activities by swiping from left to right. If the app contains horizontally scrollable content, users first have to navigate to the edge of the content and then swipe again from left to right to exit the app.

For more immersive experiences, like an app that can scroll a map in any direction, you can disable the swipe to exit gesture in your app. However, if you disable it, you must implement the long-press-to-dismiss UI pattern to let users exit your app using the DismissOverlayView class from the Wearable UI Library. You must also inform your users the first time they run your app that they can exit using a long press.

For design guidelines about exiting Android Wear activities, see Breaking out of the card.

Disable the Swipe-To-Dismiss Gesture

If the user interaction model of your app interferes with the swipe-to-dismiss gesture, you can disable it for your app. To disable the swipe-to-dismiss gesture in your app, extend the default theme and set the android:windowSwipeToDismiss attribute to false:

<style name="AppTheme" parent="Theme.DeviceDefault">
    <item name="android:windowSwipeToDismiss">false</item>

If you disable this gesture, you must implement the long-press-to-dismiss UI pattern to let users exit your app, as described in the next section.

Implement the Long Press to Dismiss Pattern

To use the DismissOverlayView class in your activity, add this element to your layout definition such that it covers the whole screen and is placed above all other views.

The following example shows how to add the <DismissOverlayView> element:


    <!-- other views go here -->


In your activity, obtain the <DismissOverlayView> element and set some introductory text. This text is shown to users the first time they run your app to inform them that they can exit the app using a long press gesture. Then use a GestureDetector to detect a long press:

public class WearActivity extends Activity {

    private DismissOverlayView mDismissOverlay;
    private GestureDetector mDetector;

    public void onCreate(Bundle savedState) {

        // Obtain the DismissOverlayView element
        mDismissOverlay = (DismissOverlayView) findViewById(;

        // Configure a gesture detector
        mDetector = new GestureDetector(this, new SimpleOnGestureListener() {
            public void onLongPress(MotionEvent ev) {

    // Capture long presses
    public boolean onTouchEvent(MotionEvent ev) {
        return mDetector.onTouchEvent(ev) || super.onTouchEvent(ev);

When the system detects a long press gesture, the <DismissOverlayView> element shows an Exit button, which terminates your activity if the user presses it.