The Google Nexus 7 may be the first tablet to ship with Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. But like Android 4.0, Jelly Bean has slightly different user interfaces for smartphones and tablets — and for some reason Google decided to make the smartphone UI the default on the Nexus 7 tablet.

If you’d rather use the tablet view, there’s a hack for that.

Google Nexus 7 with Tablet UI

Xda-developers forum member SladeNoctis discovered that if you change the LCD density property in the build.prop file, you can switch to the tablet view. This move the notification bar from the top of the screen to the lower right corner and tweaks the layout of the home screen and navigation toolbar.

You’ll need a rooted device in order to access the build.prop file, but the tablet is fairly easy to root. Once you’ve done that, you can follow the instructions provided by SladeNoctis to edit your build.prop file or use a tool like LCD Density Modder or ROM Toolbox which makes the process a little simpler and helps fix some of the problems associated with this sort of change.

Note that in addition to enabling tablet mode, changing the LCD density could lead text or pictures to look smaller. Some apps may also look funny.

via xda-developers

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3 replies on “How to enable Android’s tablet UI on the Google Nexus 7”

  1. Would be killer if Google just included an option for the UI change. Some people probably love the phone UI while others love the tablet. . . I think I like the tablet a little better but won’t know till I play with it a while.

    Either way, it would be nice if they designed the UI for both to have things within reach of where you hand(s) (thumbs) normally are, instead of having to use two hands or take your hand off to reach something. . . like the search.

    1. My Nexus 7 only arrives mid-July, so I can only guess, but;
      At the moment, I think I prefer the “phone” UI for portrait mode and Honeycomb style for landscape.

      I really do hope Google release an update that allows Jellybean’s main/home screen to be rotated to landscape mode. I tend to have a tablet rest on those cover-stand cases (you know, the cover flips back to become a stand) in landscape mode while working on my main desktop most of the time.

      Would be extra cool if the update could allow “Honeycomb” style UI in landscape mode, while leaving portrait mode in stock form.

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