Description: Cygery Custom NavBar is an Android app that aims to make the best of the onscreen buttons that were introduced in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It’s especially useful for tablets but, it works great for phones, too. Essentially, Custom NavBar turns those onscreen buttons into a homescreen of sorts, allowing you to place shortcut icons and widgets on your navigation bar, just like you would on a homescreen. Custom NavBar brings some of your favorite apps and widgets to your fingertips quite literally, there’s no need to swap out of an app to launch the dialer for instance, as you could have that icon in your navigation bar, the same goes for bookmarks for your favorite websites. It’s certainly not for everyone, as it can make your navigation bar feel a little cluttered but, if you want a more efficient way of getting around Android, then this is for you. Best of all though, it doesn’t require root at all, so anyone can try this out.
How it Works: To start creating your own custom NavBar, you’ll need to head on over to the Play Store and download the app. Once you’ve done that, there’s a short setup procedure you need to go through and then you can start choosing what you want to put in your custom navbar.
As you can see, it works well on smartphones running Android 4.1 – 4.3:
You can use it with 7-inch Android tablets, too.
Above all though, this sort of customization is much better suited to Android tablets with 10-inch displays.
Some great uses would be widgets, like for instance a small widget you might use daily, for music or to time the perfect coffee brewing:
As well as these widgets though, how about a bookmark to your favorite site?
Opinion: In my experience, I prefer these onscreen buttons to hardware ones but it often feels like they’re not used to their full potential. With this app however, you can make what you want of the navbar and create your own. I’ll admit that it’s much, much easier to use this on a 10-inch Android tablet than it is on smartphones or something like the Nexus 7 but, what you use it for is up to you – it’s your choice. For those that prefer a minimal look and feel to their Android tablets, this might not be for you but, you don’t have to fill it up with icons, you could easily choose some of your favorite, tasteful widgets.
- Speed (4/5) – It’s quick and easy to setup and there’s no need to root your phone or dig through a mountain’s worth of settings, either.
- Features (4/5) – Giving Android users one more choice to launch their apps or get a quick look at their widgets is great in our book and Cygery Custom NavBar works great.
- Theme (4/5) – The theme here depends on what icons, widgets or buttons you choose to customize your NavBar with, the choice is yours.
- Overall (4/5) – A solid offering for those looking for even more tools on Android that works well, runs well and offers even more choice.
- Great way of taking better advantage of the space taken up by onscreen buttons, especially on 10-inch Android tablets.
- You can choose from app shortcuts, widgets, bookmarks and more – there’s a lot of choice on offer.
- Doesn’t require root or much knowledge of Android to even get this up and running.
- Custom NavBar gives Android users one more choice to get from app-to-app or get a quick look at their favorite widgets.
- Doesn’t support Android 4.4 KitKat, due to some changes made by Google.
- Could end up creating a cluttered navigation bar, depending on how you use it.
Conclusion: Overall, Cygery Custom NavBar is a solid offering and will appeal to 10-inch tablet users in particular, however, without Android 4.4 KitKat support, it leaves many Nexus users out in the cold. However, this is due to some changes that Google themselves made in the Android 4.4 update and there are currently no plans to support KitKat in the future. Never mind that though, with a lot of manufacturers like Sony, LG and Motorola all using onscreen buttons there are plenty of users that will be able to create their own navbar with this. Thanks to the fact that it doesn’t require root, anyone can truly try this app out for themselves, which is often not the case for apps like this. The main attraction here is perhaps not the ability to add shortcuts and widgets to your onscreen buttons but, the fact that you can choose from whatever you like. Giving you the ability to tailor it to exactly how you like it. Which is exactly what Android is all about.