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Google Is Killing Third-Party Gesture Apps In Android 11

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Recent development confirms that Google has removed the overscan API in the upcoming Android 11 OS. Notably, overscan is the very feature that allows third-party navigation gesture app developers to hide the in-built navigation bar.

Now, with the overscan API gone in Android 11, the only way to hide the navigation bar would be to root the phone. Besides, rooting is not preferred by many, meaning that using third-party gesture navigation apps would be only for pro-Android users.

Moreover, Android 10 made it mandatory to use navigation gestures. This is one of the other features that Android picked up from iOS.

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Well, if you are wondering that if only Android has taken some features from iOS, you are wrong. In fact, there are several features that iOS took from Android. But that is a matter of some other discussion.

However, Android provided third-party gesture app developers that option to hide the native navigation gesture with overscan API.

Point to note is that gesture apps are not the only ones affected by the removal of overscan functionality. Apparently, an app named SecondScreen which lets you control multiple display options also makes use of overscan.

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But now, since the feature will be taken off from Android 11, the SecondScreen might likely not to function in Android devices, running newer Android OS.

Overscan is used to expand the original boundaries of the screen

To give you some context about overscan, it is an API that lets you expand the boundaries of the screen. This function is also found in TVs to fit the image by expanding or shrinking the visible boundary of the screen.

Besides, we all know that today’s TVs also run on Android. This “wm overscan” shell command was used by developers to hide the UI out of the visible area.

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Similarly, overscan allowed for hiding the navigation bar without the need of rooting the phone. But the confirmation by Google will hurt many developers. You can check out the comment by Google about the removal of overscan here.

Google says that the decision to remove overscan functionality was made, as it was no longer used in any of their own product. However, third-party app developers used this command, which will now affect their work.

As per XDA, this also means that you can no longer be able to use their Navigation Gesture app. It included features like the iPhone X-style gesture and the ability to hide the original navigation bar.

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Let us know in the comments below, what are your thoughts on this decision by Google and whether your work also gets affected by this decision or not.