How To: Force Any App to Use Translucent Nav & Status Bars on Your Nexus 5

Force Any App to Use Translucent Nav & Status Bars on Your Nexus 5

When the Nexus 5 was released, a new version of Android came along with it called KitKat. In the 4.4 update were some fancy new UI elements, one of the most noticeable being the translucent decor. By that, I mean the status and navigation bars being semi-transparent.

However, translucency for the status and nav bars had to be implemented into individual apps separately by their developers. Until now, that is.

Developer Stephen Milone has released an Xposed module that can force apps to have translucent decor. So just like with tinted status bars and immersive mode, we no longer have to wait on developers to put this effect into their apps—we can do it ourselves.


Step 1: Install Force Translucent KitKat

From the Xposed Installer app, head to the Download section. Search Force Translucent KitKat and tap the top result. Hit Download, and then follow the prompts for installation.

Note: If Xposed has trouble downloading this app (as it did for me), you can get it by hitting this alternate link.

Once installed, be sure to activate this module and reboot.

Step 2: Choose the Apps You Want to Make Translucent

Now that you've rebooted, open the Force Translucent KitKat app. It gives you a list of all the apps you have installed on your Nexus 5, and they each have a corresponding check box.

Tick the boxes next to the apps that you think would do well to have a bit of extra screen real estate. Alternatively, you can select all by tapping the three-dot menu button.

When you back out of the app, a toast message will appear telling you that you need to reboot for the changes to take effect.

Step 3: Try Different Apps to Find What Works & What Doesn't

This module is not without a few quirks. Basically, it works by stretching the app to full screen, then turning the status and navigation bars translucent.

In some apps, this effect looks beautiful. In others, you'll notice that doing this has broken some functionality. Buttons can be rendered useless if they have been stretched to a place behind the navigation bar or status bar.

It will take a little experimentation to see which of your apps work best with this softMod, but there are several that look great with this applied.

Which apps are working well for you, and which just aren't quite there yet? Let us know in the comments below.

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