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Android Nougat secret feature lets you customize the navigation bar

by Jacob Kleinman | August 24, 2016August 24, 2016 6:30 pm PST

Google tweaks the Android navigation bar from time to time, and now it looks like the company could be getting ready to hand over control to its users. A hidden menu spotted in Android Nougat‘s code reveals potential plans for a powerful new navbar customization tool.

The new feature, which was shared with Android Police, lets you delete the traditional Home, Back and Recents buttons and replace them with other keyboard functions like “clipboard” and “spacer,” though these new options don’t actually seem to work in the current build. You can also resize individual buttons and move them around within the navigation bar.

Android Police notes that the feature was first added into Google’s code earlier back in January, but it was hidden away a month later because it wasn’t ready for public use. It’s possible the navigation bar customizer could officially launch as soon as this fall with Android Nougat’s first maintenance update, though we may end up waiting until the release of Android O or even later.

In the meantime, you can give the new feature a shot if you have a Nexus 6P by flashing the files shared on XDA-Developers via the source link below. Make sure to backup your phone first, though, in case something goes wrong.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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