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Android 15 DP2 brings back the pinnable taskbar on tablets and foldables

Summary

Android 15 DP2 offers a Taskbar toggle for tablet and foldable users to switch between persistent and floating modes.
This feature has been in the works since last year and was initially expected to debut with Android 14 stable last fall.
Separately, Android 15 DP2 also includes a foldable-specific change, thanks to some inspiration from the OnePlus Open.

Android 15 DP2 is officially out, giving us an early glimpse into Android 15 ahead of its stable release this fall. On top of the minor changes bundled with the new update, such as satellite connectivity improvements, Google could also provide a better user experience for tablet and foldable smartphone users by improving the Taskbar experience.

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Android expert Mishaal Rahman (via Android Authority) found that Android 15 DP2 has an option to either make the taskbar persistent, i.e., continue to appear, or make it only temporarily available in a floating pill-shaped box at the bottom of the screen.

For some background, Google debuted the persistent taskbar with Android 12L for large-screen devices, but it was replaced by the aforementioned temporary floating bar with Android 13 QPR2 Beta 1 and made the default with Android 13 QPR2 Beta 2 last year.

Then with Android 14 Beta 3 last year, Google offered a toggle to switch between the temporary and persistent taskbar experiences. This led us to believe at the time that the feature would appear when Android 14 went stable, but that didn’t happen. Instead, it looks like Android 15 may be the version that finally gives tablet and foldable owners the option to switch between either version of the taskbar.

The Always show Taskbar toggle in Android 14 Beta 3 (left); The updated version in Android 15 DP2 (right)

When widely available, the toggle will pop up when long pressing an empty area in the taskbar, as shown above. Comparing last year’s implementation and the new version of this toggle highlights the absence of the Change navigation mode option found in Android 14 Beta 3. But since we’re still in the nascent phase of Android 15, it’s hard to tell if it’s gone for good.

In addition to this taskbar pinning functionality for large-screen devices, Google is also adding some new functionality for the Pixel Fold, particularly the addition of a new Swipe up to continue setting that gives users better control over which apps should shift over to the outer screen (when folded). You can see how this works on Google’s foldable in the video above. This is a feature right out of OnePlus’ bag of tricks, with the OnePlus Open offering a similar solution since last year.

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