How to Modify and Customize the Android Navigation Bar

In all these years as an Android user, one of the phones that I remember most fondly is the Oukitel Mix 2 . A terminal with a very cool screen, which, however, had a small detail that bothered me a lot. The navigation bar had the order of the icons moved.

In my previous smartphones, the button to go back had always been on the right, and the one to show all open apps, the typical square icon, on the left. In phones like this Mix 2 or any other modern smartphone that does not have haptic buttons, the navigation bar is essential. It is important if you want to use it comfortably. Can it be customized?

How to change the order of the navigation bar icons on Android

Although Android does not offer many customization options for virtual navigation buttons, it does allow ordering them – or hiding them if you wish.

To configure the order of the icons on the navigation section, you must enter the Android Settings menu:

  • Go to ” Device -> Screen. “
  • Drive to ” Navigation bar. “
  • From here, you can activate or deactivate the bar, in addition to changing the order of the buttons on the navigation bar. Once the appropriate changes are made, they are updated instantly.Android navigation bar

Adjusting the navigation bar on Samsung Galaxy devices

If your phone has a customization layer for Android, you may have to go another way to get to the settings menu of the navigation bar. For example, if you have a Samsung Galaxy mobile, your Android will be using a One UI customization layer. This also allows these types of modifications.

  • Enter the “Settings” menu of your device.
  • Navigate to “Display -> Navigation bar” and select the desired layout. From here, you can choose between gesture navigation or conventional buttons. You can also decide their order.

Android 10 and gesture navigation

With the release of Android 10, Google introduced gesture navigation. A function that allows you to control the device without using the navigation button. It does this by simply performing gestures such as swiping up, dragging from left to right, etc.

If you have a smartphone with Android 10 and want to customize the navigation button, the system allows you to adjust this aspect as follows:

  • Open the phone’s “Settings” menu.
  • Navigate to “System -> Gestures -> System navigation”.
  • Here Android will offer us 3 different navigation systems: « Gesture navigation, «Navigation with 2 buttons,» or the classic menu of « Navigation with 3 buttons » that you already know from previous versions of Android. Select the desired option to activate it automatically.

If you have an Android version before Android 10 but want to use gesture navigation on it, you can also do it thanks to the « Fluid Navigation Gestures « application. The configuration process has its crumbs. The truth is that it is a very interesting utility. Do not lose sight of it!

How to customize the navigation bar buttons

If your navigation button has disappeared or the physical buttons of your mobile/tablet have been broken or damaged, you also have the option of adding a personalized navigation bar.

Note: Not all Android terminals have a navigation bar, especially among those that already have touch buttons.

For this, you can install the Simple Control app, which is responsible for offering a new navigation bar that you can customize to your liking. You can change the design of the navigation icons and even the bar’s location. This allows you to move it to one of the sides of the screen.

Simple Control is a free (non-root) app with a 4.2-star rating and more than 5 million downloads on Google Play.

In addition to the aforementioned app, Google Play has a good number of similar applications, such as the S8 Navigation bar, an application with which you can customize your Android device with the navigation bar of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

This app is designed for devices that do not have a navigation bar natively. This means that if you already have a navigation button, it will be located on top of the existing one. You can always hide the original bar so that only the Note 8 is visible. It is much more practical on devices without a native bar.

Finally, another very popular customization app is Custom Navigation Bar.

It allows a lot of customizations and adjustments. For those interested, here is a video from XDA-Developers. It teaches how to take advantage of this interesting app:

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