Android 15 Could Introduce Hybrid Taskbar for Pixel Tablet and Fold

What you should know


  • Android 12L introduced a taskbar for large screens, aiming for better multitasking and app switching, similar to desktop computers.
  • The original taskbar design was static and occupied screen space, but Android 13 QPR2 introduced a more dynamic, pill-shaped taskbar that appears with a swipe and disappears after a few seconds.
  • Android 15 Developer Preview 2 hints at the return of the “always-there” taskbar, but with a new feature allowing users to toggle between the persistent and floating taskbar styles.
  • This development suggests a focus on increased customization and personalization for Android users, indicating a promising direction for future Android versions.


Full Story

Oh, do you remember Android 12L? Google casually dropped it in the early days of 2022. It was like a love letter to large screens – tablets, to be specific – after what felt like an eternity of them just focusing on phones. And there was this major change, the taskbar. It just sat there at the bottom of the screen, all glued and stuff, promising us quick app switches and multitasking galore. Desktops have been flaunting that feature for ages, right? So, it was about time Android hopped on the bandwagon.

But, oh boy, that first taskbar was a bit of a mess. A clunky, unmoving bar that just hogged all the space at the bottom. Whether you needed it or not, it was always there. Yeah, you could hide it, but only temporarily. By default, it claimed its territory, limiting screen space on devices that weren’t exactly small but also weren’t as humongous as, say, a 14-inch tablet.

Then came Android 13 QPR2 last year, shaking things up with a redesigned taskbar. Gone was the always-there bar, replaced by this pill-shaped thingy that popped up with a quick swipe and disappeared after a few. This fresh take made its debut on Google’s Pixel Tablet and Fold. And with Android 14? It finally spread its wings to other big-screen devices.

Old taskbar vs. new taskbar | Source: Android Authority. The new taskbar? It’s a hit for most, making things way more user-friendly. But, for the heavy multitaskers among us, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. More swipes, more taps to get where you’re going when the taskbar plays hide and seek.

However, Mishaal Rahman from Android Authority let slip that Google’s on it, working on a fix in an upcoming Android version. Digging through Android 15 Developer Preview 2, they spotted something interesting. The old “always-there” taskbar is staging a comeback, but with a twist. Swipe up, long-press the empty space, and voila, a toggle labeled “always show taskbar” appears. Flip it on, and the classic look returns. Flip it off, and you’re back to the new, floaty style. It’s like having your cake and eating it too, depending on your mood.

This? This is a promising glimpse into what Android 15 might bring to the table. If other OEMs jump on board, it’s a huge win for Android users everywhere. The thought of more customization, more personalization? It’s downright exciting. Can’t wait to see how this all evolves in the future.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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