Despite the fact that most Android OEMs have an option to disable the Gesture Navigation bar, Google is still sticking with it. Even though many Android users have submitted feature requests about this feature to allow an option to remove it. Google responded with “Won’t fix (Intended Behavior)”. So there you have it. It’s not a bug (which we knew already), and it will be sticking around in Android 12.
Most of us have just grown to live with the bar. After all, the iPhone has it, since the iPhone X a few years ago. And that is probably why Google is keeping it around. It also lets those that are less tech enthusiast about smartphones, know that gestures are on. Even though the majority of us won’t see buttons and automatically assume that it’s gestures.
Keeping this gesture bar could cause burn-in on OLEDs
Besides the fact that it looks cleaner without it, the biggest reason why this feature is wanting to be removed, is because it’ll cause burn-in on OLED smartphones. Like those that Google sells. With Always-On Displays, it is a bit less of an issue, since the content moves around the screen and is not static in the same place for days, and weeks a time. However this gesture bar is.
So far, we have not heard of any burn-in caused by this gesture navigation bar on Android 12. But it’s only a matter of time before that happens. Of course, you would need to look very hard to find it, since it is present on every screen, except for when watching videos. So there’s that.
Hopefully Google changes its mind with Android 13, and we at least get an option to remove the bar. Like Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi and many other OEMs allow users to do. But for now, we’ll have to stick with it.