Google introduced support for an app taskbar along the bottom of the screen for big-screen Android devices not long ago, but the feature has already changed with time to only show part of the time. With Android 14, Google seems to be preparing a tweak to the taskbar that lets it appear constantly.
When the taskbar first debuted in Android 12L, it was designed effectively as a larger version of the existing navigation bar. Directly above that area, you’d get a list of apps that you could instantly switch between or open in multitasking. You could then hide the taskbar by long-pressing the navigation bar.
But, with Android 13, Google tweaked this to a “transient” design that hides the taskbar when it’s not actively being used. This is virtually identical to the iPad’s taskbar, which is probably why Google made the change. It works well enough, but it’s not as powerful for quickly switching between apps.
In Android 14, though, this may change. Android Police cites a flag in the latest Android 14 beta labeled “ENABLE_TASKBAR_PINNING.” Further context around the flag reveals that it will allow users to choose between the transient or persistent taskbar. The change can be made by long-pressing an empty space on the taskbar itself, as shown in the video below.
Notably, Samsung currently defaults to the “persistent” taskbar design with no transient option, but it will certainly be nice to have the choice.
Currently, this option isn’t available to end users, but there’s a good chance it may arrive before Android 14’s final release – there are still a couple more betas to go. The next release is expected pretty soon.
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