Android has long given apps the option to display content underneath the navigation bar and status bar by making those transparent, but with Android 15, that might be mandatory.
Showing content under the navigation bar and status bar in Android effectively allows those UI elements to fade into the background and also give the apps just a little bit more space to show their content. This is more useful in some apps than it is in others, but it’s a pretty underutilized option today, as many apps still default to showing a background behind these sections of the UI.
“Edge-to-edge” mode, though, may soon be more broadly used.
As Android Authority spotted in Android 14 QPR2 Beta 3, a change to Android’s “App Compatibility Changes” page notes that Android 15 (Vanilla Ice Cream) and above will “make app go edge-to-edge by default.” This would force apps to use edge-to-edge, rendering the status and navigation bars as transparent, if they target Android 15 (API 35). By Google’s usual schedule, that requirement would kick in later on in 2025.
Further, Google cleaned up a longstanding bug with edge-to-edge, with this functionality now better accounting for display cutouts.
What would this do to apps? It’s entirely likely that some apps would have compatibility issues to be worked out, but in most cases, this probably wouldn’t have a huge effect, especially in apps heavy on text elements.
That said, though, there’s always a good chance this requirement just doesn’t kick in with Android 15. Given this was found early and not announced, it’s entirely possible that Google won’t follow through with the requirement just yet. But it’s definitely looking like the company wants to enforce this a bit more.
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- ‘Google’ preferences redesign in Android Settings rolling out
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