[Feature] Nexus 4 – CM10.1 Allows Usable Screen to Expand, Covering the Soft Button Strip

Posted Dec 13, 2012 at 12:08 am in Threads > News

Since I purchased my Nexus 4, creative use of the extra screen real estate occupied by the soft button strip has been important to me.

I have been extending my screen to cover this strip when in games or certain apps to show more content, by using the very easy-to-use feature available in CyanogenMod 10.1.


1. Under “Settings > System > Power Menu,” check “Expanded Desktop.”

2. Click and hold the power button to access the power menu.

3. Select “Expanded Desktop” from the power menu. This is a toggle item, which means that you may repeat steps 2 and 3 to make the soft buttons appear again, contraction the desktop.

Note: you must have CyanogenMod 10.1 Custom ROM, not what the device ships with. You may start at http://www.CyanogenMod.org if interested.

  • http://pixelswim.com Steve Heinrich

    That is one of the better features on CM 10.1. It can be really useful to have that extra real estate if you are spending a bit of time in one particular app. Stuff like composing an email or texting a bunch of people.

    • SGB101

      I’m always hitting the home/back key on my n7,when writing, it’s got to the point I hardly use it, this is a great feature, if looking a little clunky to do.

      Maybe a long press ‘top left/right corner’ to toggle on off buttons

  • Puzzled by Choice

    Will this rom allow this on any Android Phone? For instance… my Droid Razr?

    Thanks for the info. and the CyanogenMod team seems to be top of the line coders.

    • AndroidLove

      CM has a list of nightly roms that they support on their website

    • TheVoodoo

      I’m not sure if the specific “Expanded Desktop” functionality would be available.

      However, there are unofficial CM10 . 1 builds available for the Droid RAZR. The following thread is probably a good place to start; however, of course exercise caution when downloading software from forums, even though thus thread is by a well-recognized developer on XDA.


  • Chris Lewis

    Cant wait for CM10.1 to be released for the SGS3

    • TheVoodoo

      Yes. CM10 was amazing on my SGS3.

      I think you maybe be able to find some unofficial CM10.1 ROMs for it, though.

  • TheVoodoo

    I forgot to mention that this feature also expands the desktop over the notification bar, when activated, which paired with the soft button area, provides a very substantial increase in screen real estate.

    • LukeT32

      I noticed in the last few nightlies for my GNex you can leave the notification bar on if you want also. Not sure where i saw it in the settings though. Pretty sure it was on the 03.04.13 build.

  • George

    Is there an app that can make the power menu to pop-up? It’s kind of annoying to long press the power button all the time to enable/disable expanded desktop.

  • Mix

    Sorry for thread jacking but I have a question and don’t really need to create a post for the answer.

    Is there any way to set my Nexus 4 on “Phone Calls Only” mode?

    I don’t want my phone going off for every text/email/game reply especially when I am going to bed but I can’t find a happy medium as I want phone calls at night to get to me in case they are an emergency.

    It just seems that it is either everything goes off with the LED and noise or nothing goes off.

    Do I need to download an app for this?

    That has to be the one feature I missed about my Blackberry, lol.