Android KitKat Focus Feature; Full Screen Apps And Hidden Nav Bar

This feature should prove ever so valuable to those that love to customize their phones as well as those that yearn for more screen real estate without buying a new device. Come Android 4.4 KitKat, apps will now be able to go truly full screen. That means hidden navigation and status bars, which is something plenty have undoubtedly been waiting on for some time now.

While the the way Google has decided to design the navigation and status bars is by no means unloved, just the simple fact that they stayed in place when using or doing anything that would look better without them was nagging and needless to say kind of annoying. There were always ways around this if you were keen enough to swap out your standard Android home launcher with something that blows open the doors of customization like Nova or Apex. However, not everyone wants this let alone know its a possibility to take home screen customization this far. So what we are left with, is watching videos, playing games, and reading books with an arguably questionable eyesore during the activity's we wish for a truly full screen experience.

In Android 4.4 KitKat, users will now be able to take advantage of what is being called full screen immersive mode. Truly take your apps to the limit and enjoy the richer experience that comes along with edge to edge entertainment. Any app is presumably able to take advantage of this, which will most certainly make using a lot of different apps more enjoyable. Taking a page from the books of modders and custom ROM flashing freaks(which of course get most of their tools from Android community devs), Google has added in swipe gestures to make your nav bar and status bars reappear with the swipe of a finger in the direction you would normally access those two features, just swipe down for the status bar or up for the nav bar and they'll appear like magic. No having to exit your app just to see any incoming notifications or access your utility buttons at the bottom. Once you're done, simply tap in the area where those two reside to make them disappear again and go back to whatever you were doing.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to some of the changes we'll see with the coming of KitKat, but these are certainly some interesting ones and aptly welcomed by a widespread group of Android users. I feel it's also worth nothing that while you can hide the nav and status bars during the usage of virtually any app, the app developers still have to enable this feature to be compatible with their services. There's so much to look forward to with the newest version Android, and for those of us who can't get their hands on a Nexus 5 right away, if you own another nexus device like the nexus 4 or nexus 7, you'll get your sweet chocolaty taste of Android 4.4 KitKat and all it has to offer in the coming weeks.

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About the Author

Justin Diaz

Head Editor
Lover of food, craft beer, movies, travel, and all things tech. Video games have always been a passion of his due to their ability to tell incredible stories, and home automation tech is the next big interest, in large part because of the Philips Hue integration with Razer Chroma. Current Device: Google Pixel.
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