Android 15 apps could be forced to display edge-to-edge by Google — what you need to know

Google Pixel 8 shown held in hand
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Android 15 could force your apps to make full use of your phone's screen space, based on code found in the latest Android 14 beta by Mishaal Rahman (writing for Android Authority).

The beta contains a mention of "edge to edge by default" within the App Compatibility Changes menu for "vanilla ice cream," Google's internal codename for Android 15. This refers to edge-to-edge mode, an option for Android app developers that lets their app's content appear under the system bars — the status bar at the top where your notifications, clock and other icons live, and the navigation bar where your gesture handle or on-screen buttons live.

Rahman believes that this addition means Google could make it a requirement for Android apps aiming for Android 15 compatibility to display content in edge-to-edge, rather than leaving the space in line with the status and navigation bars blank. Edge-to-edge mode is currently optional, although many apps already use it.

Android 14 beta with the edge to edge default flag enabled

(Image credit: Mishaal Rahman / Android Authority)

Rahman was also able to enable the change to show what this could mean in practice, as you can see in the screenshots above and below.

Android 14 beta with the edge to edge default flag enabled

(Image credit: Mishaal Rahman / Android Authority)

Cutting edge-to-edge design

The main reason apps avoid edge-to-edge mode in Android currently is that they have their own buttons that could interact awkwardly with a system bar. But hopefully with enough warning developers would be able to prepare their apps in time for Android 15's expected full release at the end of 2024.

Conveniently, some developers may already know how this could look since iOS displays apps in an equivalent of edge-to-edge mode already. Google doesn't have to copy Apple's approach simply because it's its main rival, but enforcing a standard that iPhone users and many Android users are already comfortable with makes sense now that most new phones offer full-screen displays.

Android 15 isn't available in any form yet, although we expect we'll see its first developer beta launch this month, if Android 14's timeline was anything to go by. It'll be through tracking these betas that we get more of an idea if Google's serious about making this change stick, as well as its possible restoration of lock screen widgets, or if it'll move its focus elsewhere.

More from Tom's Guide

Phone
Arrow
Arrow
Back to Mobile Cell Phones
Brand
Arrow
Network
Arrow
Mint Mobile US
Twigby US
Ultra Mobile US
US Mobile US
Monthly Cost
Arrow
Any Monthly Cost
Upfront Cost
Arrow
Any Upfront Cost
Data
Arrow
Any Data
Storage Size
Arrow
powered by
Toms Guide
in association with WhistleOut
Plans
Unlocked
Showing 10 of 383 deals
Filters
Arrow
Google Pixel 8 Pro
(Installments 128GB)
Pixel 8 Pro 128GB
5GBdata
Icon
Data:
(reduced speeds after monthly data allotment is used to continue unlimited)
Unlimited mins
Icon
Calls:
Calls to MX & CA included
Unlimitedtexts
Icon
Texts:
Messaging to MX & CA included
Mint Mobile US
No contract
Get $50 off this p...
Learn More
Galaxy S24 Ultra 5G 256GB
3GBdata
Unlimited mins
Icon
Calls:
to the U.S., MX, CA and 90+ destinations
Unlimitedtexts
Icon
Texts:
Domestic and Global Text
Ultra Mobile US
No contract
Get 10% off any 6-...
Learn More
Google Pixel 7a
(Installments)
Pixel 7a 128GB
5GBdata
Icon
Data:
(reduced speeds after monthly data allotment is used to continue unlimited)
Unlimited mins
Icon
Calls:
Calls to MX & CA included
Unlimitedtexts
Icon
Texts:
Messaging to MX & CA included
Mint Mobile US
No contract
Get $50 off this p...
Learn More
Pixel 8 128GB
2GBdata
Icon
Data:
Shared Additional Data at $2 per 1GB
Unlimited mins
Icon
Calls:
International calls from the US
Unlimitedtexts
Icon
Texts:
International text from the US
US Mobile US
No contract
Get 30 Days FREE T...
Learn More
Pixel 8 Pro 128GB
2GBdata
Icon
Data:
Shared Additional Data at $2 per 1GB
Unlimited mins
Icon
Calls:
International calls from the US
Unlimitedtexts
Icon
Texts:
International text from the US
US Mobile US
No contract
Get 30 Days FREE T...
Learn More
Galaxy S24 Ultra 5G 256GB
2GBdata
Icon
Data:
Shared Additional Data at $2 per 1GB
Unlimited mins
Icon
Calls:
International calls from the US
Unlimitedtexts
Icon
Texts:
International text from the US
US Mobile US
No contract
Get 30 Days FREE T...
Learn More
Pixel 7a 128GB
2GBdata
Icon
Data:
Shared Additional Data at $2 per 1GB
Unlimited mins
Icon
Calls:
International calls from the US
Unlimitedtexts
Icon
Texts:
International text from the US