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Permanently hide Navigation Bar on Nexus 7

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By lesdense, Senior Member on 11th November 2012, 04:37 PM
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I wanted the greatest amount of usable screen "real estate" on my Nexus 7 so I looked for ways to hide the black Navigation Bar that spans the bottom of the display. My launcher of choice, GO Launcher EX, has an option to hide it but that didn't work. There are apps that supposedly hide it but either they only hide it until you return to your home screen or they hide it but leave thick unusable black gaps at the bottom and the top of the display. I use Button Savior for my navigation so I just wanted the Navigation Bar GONE.

I read that, on other devices, adding the line "qemu.hw.mainkeys=1" to the build.prop file under /system would do it but I added the line and it did nothing. Then -- since I was just beginning to customize a newly rooted Nexus 7 (32GB, in case that matters) I scrubbed EVERYTHING and took it back to stock, then rooted it with WugFresh's Nexus Root Toolkit (Version 1.5.5). Next I entered my sign-in data and installed Root Explorer from Google Play (so I could edit system files). Then -- before I did anything else to the tablet, I again added "qemu.hw.mainkeys=1" to the end of build.prop in /system. It worked! The Navigation Bar disappeared and has not reappeared no matter what I've done (reboot, add apps, customize, etc). Better yet, my wallpaper image instantly resized to fill the screen space I'd recaptured. My rows of icons adjust to fill and use the space and no black bars are left anywhere on screen.

It seems unlikely that I'm the first to discover that this works with the Nexus 7 since I'm not a very sophisticated user but in case this adds value to the XDA forum, which I use and very much appreciate, here it is.
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11th November 2012, 09:26 PM |#2  
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Good find. First I heard of this.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using XDA Premium HD app
11th November 2012, 09:42 PM |#3  
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So how do you navigate without the on-screen buttons?
11th November 2012, 10:10 PM |#4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostfree

So how do you navigate without the on-screen buttons?

Same question.
11th November 2012, 10:11 PM |#5  
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I use Button Savior. There are other "soft key" solutions as well. I have Button Savior set to never "auto hide" so it's always available (it can always be manually popped in and out). I've got it placed just above the keyboard so it's never in my way when typing. I have it set to semi-transparent so I can always see it but also always see through it. The beauty of soft key solutions is that they take up NO screen real estate and, at least in the case of Button Savior, you can place them exactly where you want them so that you never have to move your hand to navigate your screen. Button Savior needs to be on a rooted device to work properly but you have to be rooted to do this procedure anyway.
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11th November 2012, 10:15 PM |#6  
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You should try Gmd Gesture control. It lets you make custom gestures for actions. Pinch four fingers to go home for example.

It also has the option to hide notification bar and a gesture to toggle it.

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11th November 2012, 10:35 PM |#7  
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Nexus 7 screen with no Nav Bar with Button Savior
I'm sure there's better ways to illustrate this but here's a blank home page with a bland wallpaper to illustrate what the space on my screen looks like. No Navigation Bar. No Dock either (I use a few icons and a few folders of icons). I like the Status Bar across the top although I could eliminate that too. That's Button Savior on the left-hand side (I'm left-handed). Soft key solutions were popularized in the CM7/Nook Color days since the Nook only had one hard button, a home key.
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11th November 2012, 11:25 PM |#8  
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+1 on GMD Gesture Control. Not cheap ($5), but worth every penny.
11th November 2012, 11:51 PM |#9  
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This is a pretty interesting idea. I might do this with my N7 or Gnexus also
11th November 2012, 11:59 PM |#10  
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Let us know if it causes any problems with installing Gameloft, EA, or any other games
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button savior, navigation bar, nexus 7
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