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Tablet UI on Nexus 7 [How to / Video / Build.prop Modification]

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SladeNoctis

Senior Member
May 29, 2010
548
200
New York
So tablet ui is possible by a simple editing of the dpi of you Nexus 7.
Here's how you can do it yourself with an file explorer of your personal preference of file explorer.

For those wanting a explanation of what dpi does for your device read below
You are lowering the _value_ that Android _reports_ as it's DPI, you are not changing the screen at all. In effect you are lying about the physical size of the screen

The default is 213dpi with a resolution of 1280×800 hence it's claiming that the display is 6in x 3.75in (7 inch diagonal)
If you alter the DPI to 160 you are lying to the system (and apps) and claiming that the 1280x800 display is actually 7.5in x 4.7in (8.8 inch diagonal)

When the apps think the screen is bigger they make the icons smaller and enable extra features (like multi-pane UIs)

Requirements

1. Rooted Nexus 7
2. Have a nandroid backup and a backup of your original build.prop(just in case)
3. Any file explorer that has root access to your system files
4. A bag of jelly beans for a few snack moments :p


Note: i'm not responsible if your Nexus 7 explodes into a bunch of jelly beans.

Tip: once you have tablet ui change you font size by going into display settings to your preferred size.

Video Guide i made, late at night from a busy day...so if i talk funny blame the lack of nutrition and sleep :p

Method 1(Recommended)

1. Get Rom Toolbox Lite or Pro if you want to support awesome app
2. Swipe to performance and press build.prop editor
3. Now scroll down to ro.sf.lcd_density
4. Press on it and change the dpi to 160 dpi
5. After doing that press ok and back out
6. Reboot your Nexus 7 and enjoy some tablet ui goodness.


Method 2

Note: I'll be using ES File Explorer as my file explorer in this method
1. Get a file explorer such as MIUI File Explorer, File Expert, ES File Explorer
Note: For ES File Explorer go to settings allow mount rewritable and root access
2.Then go to system
Note: ES File Explorer just go to the star button on the top left hand side and click on the phone button and you will see the system folder
3.You will find a build.prop file make sure to make a copy of it and save it somewhere just in case for a backup.
4.Then click on the build.prop and open it with a text editor. (ES file manager has its own text editor called ES Text Editor...go figure :p)
5. Now scroll down to "ro.sf.lcd_density"
6. Now the original lcd density is 213 so the best result for tablet mode is 160 dpi
7. Save the file by press the menu button.
8. Reboot your N7 and then you got Tablet UI.

Method 3

1. Get Buildprop Editor
2. Navigate to system and find the build.prop
3. Then find the line with "ro.sf.lcd_density"
4. Now the original lcd density is 213 so the best result for tablet mode is 160 dppi
5. Now save the file and reboot your device. Enjoy



Update 07/05/2012 In my personal experience with LCD Density Modder, changing dpi works and will cause you issues(lost root, bootloop, softbrick).:( Will update if the app gets updated for support.

Update 07/18/2012 Working on a way to get tablet ui without touching the build.prop. Its going to take some time with my tight schedule but i'll do my best. For those that experienced no boot, or lost root

To gain root access / obtain clockworkmod / unlock bootloader with toolkit

To return to stock / unbrick you device

Now all thats left is to edit the systemui to get a more clean result. That will come soon.

If there's others ways to do this without causing harm to our tablets shoot me a pm and ill post it in the first post. Hope you guys find this helpful. :)

Enjoy some screenshot of tablet ui.


screen_20120703_0200.jpg
screen_20120703_0159.png
screen_20120703_0156.jpg
screen_20120703_0155_2.png
screen_20120703_0151_2.jpg
screen_20120703_0155.png
screen_20120703_0156_2.jpg
screen_20120703_0157.jpg
IMG_20120703_175113.jpg
screen_20120703_0158.jpg
 
Last edited:

SladeNoctis

Senior Member
May 29, 2010
548
200
New York
Awesome. I know many of us will be wanting this when the 7 ships. Is the text still large enough to be easily read?

Its pretty good but in some cases..due to some apps not ready for tablets you make have to look a bit closer. Changing the font size will fix most thing just haven't had the chance to dig deeper yet.

sent from my evo 3d

Try 160? That is the default, maybe it will look better.


Sent from my HTC One S using xda app-developers app

Tried it, both are pretty much the same with 160 being a bit smaller in text.

May I ask how you go about changing the dpi?

1. Get a file explorer such as root explorer or es file manager(go to settings allow mount rewritable and root access)
2.Then go to system(es file manager just go to the star button on the top left hand side and click on the phone button and you will see the system folder)
3.You will find a build.prop file make sure to make a copy of it and save it somewhere just in case for a backup.
4.Then click on the build.prop and open it with a text editor. (ES file manager has its own)
5. Now scroll down to "ro.sf.lcd_density", or something with lcd density(sorry im at work so i dont have my n7 with me)
6. Now the original lcd density is 213 so the best result for tablet mode is going 170 and below.
7. Save the file by press the menu button.
8. Reboot your N7 and then you got Tablet UI.
 
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iwantanandroid

Senior Member
Mar 12, 2012
139
5
It's in /system/build.prop


ro.sf.lcd_density=


I bought an app called LCD Density Switcher because it cracks the market to still show all the apps that disappear when you mod the density.

where do i do that process? sorry im new to this all

do i not need to do the first step if i get the app?
if i dont get the app i cant use certain apps?
 

SladeNoctis

Senior Member
May 29, 2010
548
200
New York
Here's how you can do it yourself with a file explorer


1. Get a file explorer such as root explorer or es file manager(go to settings allow mount rewritable and root access)
2.Then go to system(es file manager just go to the star button on the top left hand side and click on the phone button and you will see the system folder)
3.You will find a build.prop file make sure to make a copy of it and save it somewhere just in case for a backup.
4.Then click on the build.prop and open it with a text editor. (ES file manager has its own)
5. Now scroll down to "ro.sf.lcd_density", or something with lcd density(sorry im at work so i dont have my n7 with me)
6. Now the original lcd density is 213 so the best result for tablet mode is going 170 and below.
7. Save the file by press the menu button.
8. Reboot your N7 and then you got Tablet UI.

Now everything is not in excellent state, some font sizes need to be adjusted as well as the preview shots for the multitasking. But in due time we will have the perfect Tablet UI most of us actually wanted.

If there's others ways to do this without causing harm to our tablets shoot me a pm and ill post it in the first post. Hope you guys find this helpful. :)
 
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Reactions: Censura_Umbra

iwantanandroid

Senior Member
Mar 12, 2012
139
5
Tried it, both are pretty much the same with 160 being a bit smaller in text.



1. Get a file explorer such as root explorer or es file manager(go to settings allow mount rewritable and root access)
2.Then go to system(es file manager just go to the star button on the top left hand side and click on the phone button and you will see the system folder)
3.You will find a build.prop file make sure to make a copy of it and save it somewhere just in case for a backup.
4.Then click on the build.prop and open it with a text editor. (ES file manager has its own)
5. Now scroll down to "ro.sf.lcd_density", or something with lcd density(sorry im at work so i dont have my n7 with me)
6. Now the original lcd density is 213 so the best result for tablet mode is going 170 and below.
7. Save the file by press the menu button.
8. Reboot your N7 and then you got Tablet UI.

Awesome.... Thanks so much :good:

---------- Post added at 07:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:49 PM ----------

Now everything is not in excellent state, some font sizes need to be adjusted as well as the preview shots for the multitasking. But in due time we will have the perfect Tablet UI most of us actually wanted.

If there's others ways to do this without causing harm to our tablets shoot me a pm and ill post it in the first post. Hope you guys find this helpful. :)

Sorry to bother you I know your at work, have you managed to adjust the font sizes and preview shots? if so how?

Thanks again dude
 

adiliyo

Senior Member
Oct 25, 2009
1,437
264
Los Angeles
Woah!?!? So this is native in JB? Just changing the pixel density will auto switch to tablet UI on reboot?

Oh and I was your 100th thanks ;)

yes, this is essentially the same way ICS works as well, getting a certain pixel density kicks in the tablet UI

the padding on the bottom (in portrait) and sides (in landscape) is kind of annoying, going to try nova launcher to see if it can be lessened.

edit: nova set to a 10x10 with horizontal padding set to small and vertical set to none fixes that

tablet ui seems much more efficient use of screen space compared to the phone UI
 
Last edited:

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  • 60
    So tablet ui is possible by a simple editing of the dpi of you Nexus 7.
    Here's how you can do it yourself with an file explorer of your personal preference of file explorer.

    For those wanting a explanation of what dpi does for your device read below
    You are lowering the _value_ that Android _reports_ as it's DPI, you are not changing the screen at all. In effect you are lying about the physical size of the screen

    The default is 213dpi with a resolution of 1280×800 hence it's claiming that the display is 6in x 3.75in (7 inch diagonal)
    If you alter the DPI to 160 you are lying to the system (and apps) and claiming that the 1280x800 display is actually 7.5in x 4.7in (8.8 inch diagonal)

    When the apps think the screen is bigger they make the icons smaller and enable extra features (like multi-pane UIs)

    Requirements

    1. Rooted Nexus 7
    2. Have a nandroid backup and a backup of your original build.prop(just in case)
    3. Any file explorer that has root access to your system files
    4. A bag of jelly beans for a few snack moments :p


    Note: i'm not responsible if your Nexus 7 explodes into a bunch of jelly beans.

    Tip: once you have tablet ui change you font size by going into display settings to your preferred size.

    Video Guide i made, late at night from a busy day...so if i talk funny blame the lack of nutrition and sleep :p

    Method 1(Recommended)

    1. Get Rom Toolbox Lite or Pro if you want to support awesome app
    2. Swipe to performance and press build.prop editor
    3. Now scroll down to ro.sf.lcd_density
    4. Press on it and change the dpi to 160 dpi
    5. After doing that press ok and back out
    6. Reboot your Nexus 7 and enjoy some tablet ui goodness.


    Method 2

    Note: I'll be using ES File Explorer as my file explorer in this method
    1. Get a file explorer such as MIUI File Explorer, File Expert, ES File Explorer
    Note: For ES File Explorer go to settings allow mount rewritable and root access
    2.Then go to system
    Note: ES File Explorer just go to the star button on the top left hand side and click on the phone button and you will see the system folder
    3.You will find a build.prop file make sure to make a copy of it and save it somewhere just in case for a backup.
    4.Then click on the build.prop and open it with a text editor. (ES file manager has its own text editor called ES Text Editor...go figure :p)
    5. Now scroll down to "ro.sf.lcd_density"
    6. Now the original lcd density is 213 so the best result for tablet mode is 160 dpi
    7. Save the file by press the menu button.
    8. Reboot your N7 and then you got Tablet UI.

    Method 3

    1. Get Buildprop Editor
    2. Navigate to system and find the build.prop
    3. Then find the line with "ro.sf.lcd_density"
    4. Now the original lcd density is 213 so the best result for tablet mode is 160 dppi
    5. Now save the file and reboot your device. Enjoy



    Update 07/05/2012 In my personal experience with LCD Density Modder, changing dpi works and will cause you issues(lost root, bootloop, softbrick).:( Will update if the app gets updated for support.

    Update 07/18/2012 Working on a way to get tablet ui without touching the build.prop. Its going to take some time with my tight schedule but i'll do my best. For those that experienced no boot, or lost root

    To gain root access / obtain clockworkmod / unlock bootloader with toolkit

    To return to stock / unbrick you device

    Now all thats left is to edit the systemui to get a more clean result. That will come soon.

    If there's others ways to do this without causing harm to our tablets shoot me a pm and ill post it in the first post. Hope you guys find this helpful. :)

    Enjoy some screenshot of tablet ui.


    screen_20120703_0200.jpg
    screen_20120703_0159.png
    screen_20120703_0156.jpg
    screen_20120703_0155_2.png
    screen_20120703_0151_2.jpg
    screen_20120703_0155.png
    screen_20120703_0156_2.jpg
    screen_20120703_0157.jpg
    IMG_20120703_175113.jpg
    screen_20120703_0158.jpg
    5
    i have trouble understanding this.... seems to me, if you lower the "dots per inch" dpi, you have less dots available on the screen. the resolution has to go down

    You are lowering the _value_ that Android _reports_ as it's DPI, you are not changing the screen at all. In effect you are lying about the physical size of the screen

    The default is 213dpi with a resolution of 1280×800 hence it's claiming that the display is 6in x 3.75in (7 inch diagonal)
    If you alter the DPI to 170 you are lying to the system (and apps) and claiming that the 1280x800 display is actually 7.5in x 4.7in (8.8 inch diagonal)

    When the apps think the screen is bigger they make the icons smaller and enable extra features (like multi-pane UIs)
    4
    >Afaik the only way to have pics/jb kick into tablet mode is via dpi.

    It's not DPI (dots-per-inch), which is a physical measure and can't be changed. Android uses an abstracted measure called "DP" (density-independent pixel), to allow for some standardization of all the varying screen sizes and densities.

    N7 has a 216 DPI; it uses TVDPI (213 DP). Its effective resolution OOB is 600x961.

    Android had four generalized densities: LDPI (120), MDPI (160), HDPI (240), and XHDPI (320). Android 3.2 added a 5th density setting, TVDPI (213). TVDPI was intended for 720p TV (XHDPI was intended for 1080p TV), but was found to fit hi-res 7" devices. If you mod the density, use a standard setting, as apps target these for layout and bitmaps.

    To calculate resolution in DP:
    resolution / density * 160 = DP
    800 / 213 * 160 = 600 dp
    1280 / 213 * 160 = 961 dp

    So N7's effective (DP) resolution is 600x961, using the official 213DP density. For native resolution, use 160DP density. Then you'd effectively have a 10" tablet shrunk to a 7", which won't be optimal for all cases.

    More here,

    http://developer.android.com/guide/practices/screens_support.html

    http://developer.android.com/about/versions/android-3.2.html

    Diane Hackborn has a write-up on G+ about the N7's particular display settings, along with the reasons behind its hybrid tablet/phone UI. Check it out for further insights.

    https://plus.google.com/10505198573...FGLV8#105051985738280261832/posts/6eWwQvFGLV8
    3
    May I ask how you go about changing the dpi?


    Sent from my HTC One S using xda app-developers app

    It's in /system/build.prop


    ro.sf.lcd_density=


    I bought an app called LCD Density Switcher because it cracks the market to still show all the apps that disappear when you mod the density.
    3
    How do the expandable notifications work in the tablet ui? Do you still slide down with two fingers even though it has to slide up since it's at the bottom of the screen?








    Yes its exactly like that I'll post a video Saturday, and cover all the uses of tablet ui on the Nexus 7.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using xda premium