Our phone displays are huge and that’s not a bad thing for watching videos or playing games, but it can be a real pain to use when you’re trying to use it with one-hand. Some smartphone makers have included options in their Android UI to make it more usable one-handed, but that feature hasn’t been found in native Android yet, at least until now.
According to a recent discovery in the Android 12 developer preview, it seems that Google has hidden a function that can enable one-handed mode. For now, Google seems to be calling this feature “Silky home” and when the flag is activated, it basically pushes the UI down the screen.
BIG change: If you enable the “Silky home” feature flag that I previously mentioned, you’ll get a DRAMATICALLY changed Settings UI that’s MUCH more one-handed friendly. Here are a few screenshots: pic.twitter.com/EcwqnU0LlB
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) February 18, 2021
Presumably the idea behind this is to make it easier for users to reach top elements of the UI using one hand instead of having to use two hands which isn’t always possible. We had previously reported that Android 12 could come with a one-handed mode and this seems to be a sign that it could be coming.
Now, the fact that it is hidden behind a flag suggests that the feature could still be in early development. We’re not sure what else the feature is meant to do besides pushing the UI elements further down the screen for easier reachability, but hopefully we’ll have a better idea in the coming months.