Android and iOS have been in a user-interface war for years. Who is winning really depends on who you ask, but a secret feature buried in the code for Android 8.0 Nougat shows a feature that would give Android the upper hand.
Google may ratchet up the customization capability of Android to a whole other level.
The navigation bar, which houses the predictable home, back, and recents (multitasking) buttons, may be the newest piece of Android you’ll be able to reshape as you see fit.
According to an Android Police report, some code hidden in the new Android Nougat release details how this may look. In the hidden configuration interface, the standard buttons are all removable, with the new ones able to be thrown in where you’d like. The options include a clipboard, spacer, menu/keyboard switcher spacer, and a button that can be assigned a keycode.
As the images reveal, you’ll be able to place the buttons where you’d like on the navigation bar and add and eliminate them as you please. It’s possible this could appear in one of the maintenance releases that Google is planning for future versions of Nougat, or Android O, or maybe just specific Android products (like new Nexus devices, or a new tablet).
Why this matters: Adding this capability would give you another layer of personalization to make Android work the way you want. It wouldn’t be surprising if this and a software bump to 7.1 was rolled out along with the new Nexus phones. The phones could also debut with several other software enhancements, with the most notable being a new launcher.