How to get the full tablet UI on the Google Nexus 7

The Google Nexus 7 tablet was unveiled just a week ago, and while it has received a positive reaction due to its specs and the wallet-friendly $199 price-point; the Android 4.1 (Jellybean) interface we saw it running was a little disappointing due to being designed on the phone interface of Jellybean. However, below is a screen-shot of the tablet interface for Google’s Nexus 7 tablet which does seem to look a lot better in terms of design aesthetics.

Google’s intentions at I/O weren't to mislead – in-fact, the device will still ship with the phone interface of Jellybean, but the device will also be capable of being tweaked in-order to support the tablet interface should users prefer it.

Google likely made the tablet support the phone interface natively to keep things simple between the users they are marketing the device to. However, if you're one of the users who wish to make best use of the screen real estate by removing the notification bar at the top and incorporating it into the more convenient system bar at the bottom, then this will most likely be perfect for you.

To do this, users are required to edit the LCD density in the build.prop file on the Android system – so rooting the Nexus 7 tablet is mandatory. Long story short, once you’ve opened your build.prop file in a text editor, simply change the entry for ro.sf.lcd_density to 170. Then save, and reboot and you’ll have an interface more suited for tablets – it’s that simple. Of course, you’ll have to get your hands on the Nexus 7 later this month to try it.

Source: XDA-Developers

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20 Comments

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What I REALLY hope people understand is that the Nexus 7 only uses the Phone Launcher. The entire user interface is not based around the "Phone UI" of Android. All the apps you download from the Play Store, and all apps that come with the device, will still remain formatted for tablet use. Almost every article I have read completely fails to mention this, and I find that it is horribly confusing the online community.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...re=player_detailpage#t=164s

You will not be using a giant phone here. Only the launcher is formatted this way. I have even read some articles that believe you cannot even use the device in landscape mode.

I think the phone interface is nicer personally, however the tablet interface for some of the Google apps looks a lot better on a bigger screen. Needs options to choose like some custom roms have and enjoy the best of both worlds.

Why the **** are they shipping a tablet with a phone interface in the first place? Will G.Play still work if it detects rooted device?

BajiRav said,
Why the **** are they shipping a tablet with a phone interface in the first place? Will G.Play still work if it detects rooted device?

Root doesn't affect anything, except give you more options.

BajiRav said,
Why the **** are they shipping a tablet with a phone interface in the first place? Will G.Play still work if it detects rooted device?

Then why iPad are shipping a phone interface?

Master of Earth said,

Then why iPad are shipping a phone interface?

Really? The iPad is NOT shipping with the iPhone version of iOS. Do you know what you are talking about?

Master of Earth said,

Then why iPad are shipping a phone interface?

I don't know what it is that you are smoking, but it must be good.

Master of Earth said,

Then why iPad are shipping a phone interface?

No Retina Display for you! (or your tablet)

Master of Earth said,

Then why iPad are shipping a phone interface?


Neowin would be a better place if people like yourself would refrain from posting.

Sooner, there will be a one-click tool to enable this tablet UI for rooted Nexus 7 devices...for now, you need to edit build.prop system files manually and not many people are willing to take risk

I agree , how many potential buyers know how to root their systems.
When other devices ship with jelly bean and have the tablet interface people would probably feel ripped off.

Mal1 said,
I agree , how many potential buyers know how to root their systems.
When other devices ship with jelly bean and have the tablet interface people would probably feel ripped off.


people who dont know how to root are the person who dont care about the interface.
nothing is ripped here. you still have a choice. not like ios or wp7.
stupidest comment i have ever heard.

still1 said,

people who dont know how to root are the person who dont care about the interface.
nothing is ripped here. you still have a choice. not like ios or wp7.
stupidest comment i have ever heard.

Yeah it's sad you can't choose between the phone and tablet interface on your WP7 tablet

xendrome said,
Hmm this could change the minds of some users who were looking forward to buying it...

If I never rooted my device, sure would put me off from buying it.

xendrome said,
Hmm this could change the minds of some users who were looking forward to buying it...
Why would someone buy it because it has more options?

techbeck said,

If I never rooted my device, sure would put me off from buying it.

I disagree, because it wasn't really advertised or shown to be able to have this UI. It's not mandatory as such - it's just an option if you're an end-user and prefer the tablet interface.

xendrome said,
Hmm this could change the minds of some users who were looking forward to buying it...

Why? It was never promoted on the basis of that interface. It's just a bonus for those willing to root. Presumably they felt either performance or screen size didn't benefit using it.

It strikes me as being an odd design choice. Ok, so being a stock device it's likely to have an unlocked bootloader but giving users a crutch will just hold them back. It's better to introduce users to Android's tablet UI and get them used to it in my opinion.