Skip to main content

Android Tip: Hide the On Screen Buttons (Immersive Mode) without Rooting your Phone.


Android's Chrome Web Browser in "Immersive Mode" on my Nexus 7.
Since their introduction in Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich", on screen buttons are a dividing point among many Android enthusiasts.   The pro's usually mean less bezel on your device, less hardware that could go bad, and button standardization.   The con is a very simple one.  It eats into your available screen space, making your screen seem smaller than it really is, and getting in the way of your content.

Android's Chrome Web Browser in normal view on my Nexus 7.

In reading and web browsing, they really do take up a lot of screen space, especially when you add things like tabs, the status bar, etc.  With the release of Android 4.4 "Kit Kat", Google attempted to remedy this issue with the release of "Immersive Mode" for Android.  What this mode does is hide all elements from your screen, EXCEPT for your content.  This means a lot more room to read, game, watch videos, etc.  With a downward swipe of your finger, you can make your buttons and status bar reappear temporarily while you're in your app.  The problem is that this mode has to be "activated" by the app developer, and even Google themselves have not implemented it in all of their apps.  To this day, the Chrome web browser (pictured above in standard mode and in the main picture (immersive mode) for this article), still does not have immersive mode turned on for some mysterious reason.   Neither do Google music, Hangouts (unless viewing a picture), Google+, Gmail, Google Voice (which is WAY overdue for a overhaul), etc.

All in One Gestures has a large number of options, and is very customizable.
Enter "All in One Gestures", by developer Phoenix Studios.  Without having to root your device, you can use this free app to force immersive mode in any app by using gestures.  In most apps that I used, this worked very well.  Pulse News Reader for example is so much more enjoyable with this mode turned on.  Classic gaming on Retroarch is so much better, there is more screen in Adobe Photoshop Touch, etc.  Web browsing with Chrome is a lot more enjoyable.   There is a catch with Chrome (and web browsing) however.  When in "immersive mode", you cannot use the on screen keyboard.  You can simply use a gesture to turn the mode off and type what you need, then reactivate, or use a bluetooth keyboard,  so it should not be a huge issue for most.

The App is free, with ads, and no in app purchases.

If you like this page, or any of my articles, please feel free to click on an ad when visiting.  It helps keep the blog going.  If that sounds like too much work, then please follow, subscribe, comment, and share the blog with your friends! I love visitors!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Clean up your Facebook activity log with Absterge

Lifesperience is now Raycommend, which can be found here:Ray Commend

Facebook is a platform that tends to elicit many different reactions from people when asked.  Whether you love it or hate it, every day millions of people from all over the world and all walks of life log on to the site or one of its various apps to catch up with family and friends.  As the years go by, one tends to build up a lot of content and in the case of many, some embarrassing content can be buried deep within your timeline. The fact that Facebook's settings can be confusing, even though they have tried to simplify them does not help.

We're now in a day and age where many employers look at Facebook accounts long before they consider hiring you, so how does one clean up without spending hours manually clicking on on timeline icons?  Enter the Absterge script.



According to the Absterge page:

"Absterge works such that a user logs in to the Facebook Timeline, and navigates to the 'Activity Log'…

Your Wii's second life as an emulation and media center powerhouse

Lifesperience is now Raycommend, which can be found here:Ray Commend

While the Wii was initially a very popular console for Nintendo, for most people, it has gone unused for years gathering dust.  More powerful consoles and devices have taken its place and even Nintendo themselves have practically abandoned it with many of their own channels going offline over the last year.  Chances are that by this point, your Wii is long out of its warranty period.  If you're willing to take about an hour of your time, you can turn your old Wii into a great emulation station and decent media center for the kids.

The things that you will need to get the most out of your old Wii console are:

An SD card (up to 32gb)An internet connection The first thing that you will need to do is softmod your console which will allow it to run unsigned software outside of Nintendo's ecosystem.  Yes!  One of the great things about the Wii (for our purposes) is that you don't need to buy an additional hardwa…

Retron 5 hacked to launch RetroArch and play ROMS off your SD card

It appears that a someone going by the screenname of RetroN Labo on Youtube has successfully hacked the Retron 5 console to run the full version of  Retroarch.  In the video shown, various emulators that are not part of the original firmware are playable including the PC Engine, Playstation One, Nintendo DS, and Wonderswan.  As the stock firmware from the Retron 5 is programmed to load games from an original cartridge when it is inserted, this hack appears to run ROM and ISO files, most likely from the SD card slot built into the back of the console.




In most of instances shown in the video, emulation appeared to run smooth, and the games previewed looked playable. Currently, Hyperkin (Retron 5 manufacturer) is in hot water with Retroarch's creators due to using their emulator cores without permission.  After being discovered, Hyperkin has shared their code, and claims that they have removed any infringing code from their console.  The Retroarch group feels differently.  Details o…