The first developer preview (DP1) for Android 12 was released this week and brings some minor tweaks and changes. However, some of the more important new features are included, but cannot be accessed without extra effort.
Users can activate one-handed mode by swiping down on the gesture navigation bar. Doing so “shrinks” the screen, pulling the top of the screen to the middle of the phone.
If you’ve ever tried the ‘Accessibility‘shortcut on an iPhone, this should look familiar. IPhone users turn on Accessibility in the same way, and pull everything on the screen down so you can reach it with your thumb.
In the video, you can see that navigating the Android interface while in one-handed mode works normally, with only half the screen in use. The text that appears in the unused part of the screen indicates that users can exit the mode with one hand by swiping up from the bottom of the screen or by tapping in the gray space above the application they are using.
from 9 to 5 It mentions that the mode also turns off if users don’t touch the screen for eight seconds.
As mentioned above, one-handed mode is not enabled by default in Android 12, and it requires some internal tweaking to work. Considering that we are still in the very early stages of the Android 12 development cycle, a lot could change with this feature (or it could be removed entirely). Hope it gets published as it offers a quick and useful shortcut to access items at the top of the screen, especially useful on tall phones.
It is worth noting that several Android manufacturers have implemented their own versions of the one-handed modes. Check out MobileSyrup’s Complete guide to one-handed modes available on smartphones.