Google Nexus 7: How to activate the full tablet UI instead of the phone UI

July 16, 2012
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    Only a few have felt and experienced Google’s latest Nexus 7 tablet, but modifications and hacks for the highly anticipated tablet have started to sprout like mushrooms. Among these modifications is a mod that lets users experience a full tablet user interface (UI) on the Nexus 7, instead of the default phone UI that it comes with.

    While critics are beginning to scrutinize every detail of the Nexus 7, the ever hardworking devs from XDA Developers are doing their homework to improve the Nexus 7 experience. The modification to enable a full tablet UI on the device is a tweak that they have developed. It’s easy to implement and one can easily restore the default if needed. The process involves changing the LCD value of the tablet.  No flashing is required.

    If you want to learn about it, see the instructions and requirements below.

    Warning

    • The instructions in this guide are intended for use with the Google Nexus 7. Applying these instructions on another device or model may produce undesired outcomes.
    • The information in this guide is provided for instructional and educational purposes only. There is no guarantee that these instructions will work under your specific and unique circumstances.
    • Use these instructions at your own risk. We shall not hold any responsibility or liability for whatever happens to you or your device arising from your use of the info in this guide.
    • Read and understand the whole guide first before actually performing the instructions.

    Requirements

    Instructions

    Method 1

    1. Install a file explorer app such as ES File Explorerand enable the app’s root access option.
      • In ES File Explorer, for example, go to Settings and enable Allow Mount Rewritable and Root Access.
    2. Using your file manager app, go to /system and you will find the build.prop file. Copy the file and paste it to another folder to serve as a backup file.  Make sure you remember where you copied it to.
    3. Open the original build.prop file in a text editor and look for “ro.sf.lcd_density”.
      • ES File Explorer has its own text editor called ES Text Editor.
    4. The original LCD density value should be set to 213. Change it into 175 or lower.
    5. Save the build.prop changes that you made by pressing the Menu key.
    6. Once done, you may now restart your Nexus 7 to boot into full tablet UI mode.

    Method 2

    1. Download and install the BuildProp Editor app.
    2. Open the app and navigate to /system. Open the build.prop file.
    3. Locate the line with “ro.sf.lcd_density.”
    4. The original LCD density should be 213. Change it to 175 or below to get the tablet UI.
    5. Save the file and reboot your tablet.

    Method 3

    1. Download and install ROM Toolbox Lite from the Google Play Store.
    2. Launch the app.
    3. Go to Performance and press the build.prop editor.
    4. Locate the line with “ro.sf.lcd_density.”
    5. Change the DPI to 175 or below.
    6. Once done, tap OK and close the app.
    7. Reboot your Android tablet.

    Using the Nexus 7 in full tablet UI will definitely make the whole Jelly Bean experience better. Look out for new mods for this device! Enjoy!

    Comments

    • Joe

      Could you explain exactly what this does? I’m new(ish) and don’t entirely understand the difference.

      • http://www.gamebushido.com Michael Launier

        Pictures would help; a video would be even better.

      • Spencer

        By lowering the DPI of your device, it will trick your device into thinking you have a bigger screen size, thus presenting you with the normal tablet interface rather then the extended phone UI that the Nexus 7 comes shipped with.

    • jwwolfe77

      If you have owned an android table then you would have noticed in the bottom right corner the time ,date, settings and such. You would also get notifications there as well. The nexus tablet doesn’t have that because its set up as phone ui instead of tablet ui.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Timothy-Scott/100001172604523 Timothy Scott

      It makes your nexus look and feel not like a phone. You also get the option to have the home screen in landscape mode. Honestly it just gives the nexus a more polished look and feel having the tablet ui. It was real easy to do the root and adjusting the number in the sys file. IMO do it. Rooting your device just for the live wallpapers is worth it. Overall it’s going to make your nexus rock out!!!!

    • shawn

      I tried to change the DPI before then my tablet wouldn’t boot back up had to restore it and lose everything :-/

    • http://www.facebook.com/rodrigosalfer Rodrigo Salfer

      Thank you for the suggestion. It it much better whit the Tablet UI mode.

    • Nathan

      This trick is awesome, took a while due to the nexus 7 being my first android product. Lost my data but that was my fault and not a big deal anyway. Just confusing that google locked it into “phone” mode in the first place as the tablet ui is easier to use in my opinion

    • http://twitter.com/kikohard karim ben hdia

      does this makes the all the apps in tablet ui, youtube ? google+ ? twitter? facebook ?

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