Windows Phone 8.1 virtual buttons can be swiped away and customized

wp 8.1 virtual buttons

One feature of Windows Phone 8.1 that hasn’t been getting a great reception is virtual buttons. Every time we write about new virtual buttons information we get comments from people hoping the feature never comes to Windows Phone. The latest Windows Phone 8.1 leaks show us more about virtual buttons, but maybe this time the critics will see something they like.

We’ve seen the virtual buttons in leaks before, but this time they look slightly different. A new button appears on the left side of the navigation bar. This button allows the bar to be hidden so the entire screen can be used for whatever you are doing. A swipe up from the bottom of the screen will bring the bar back. The changes don’t stop there.

A new section has been added to the Settings for the navigation bar. Microsoft will allow users to choose exactly how they want the navigation bar to look with three options: always dark, match background, or match accent color. These new feature should go a long way to convincing skeptical virtual button fans.

The ability to use the entire display for viewing content has always been a benefit of virtual buttons, as I said in my editorial about this subject. Being able to hide the navigation bar makes that even more handy. The customization options will allow users to continue personalizing their phone, which has been something Microsoft likes to advertise. Windows Phone 8.1 is shaping up to be more like Windows Phone 9.

[via The Verge]


  • Reggie Fat

    I don’t get the virtual button hate. This seems great!

  • that_guy


  • Sun

    No option for hide Navigation bar for Lumia 530 and other many Lumia phones until today. It is share no application ever video not playing in full screen because some portion of screen is reserved for Navigation buttons. No option for hide the navigation bar. Very very annoying.