Essential Phone No Longer Requires Whitelist for Full Screen Apps; Asks Developers to Update Apps
Essential launched the Essential Phone with a bezel-less design, strangely placing the front-facing camera in what would be the centre of the status bar on the screen. This meant that the screen would seemingly have a hole cut in it, and users were worried that it would turn out to be distracting or look ugly.
Thankfully that isn’t the case, and it seems to work fine in practice. However, Essential restricted the ability for applications to enter fullscreen mode to only a small set of apps on a whitelist created by Essential themselves. Their reasoning behind this whitelist was that if an application enters fullscreen mode, then parts of the UI and its elements will be cut off if the developer did not account for it running on the Essential Phone.
Their reasoning does make sense for the most part, but it also creates difficulties for apps such as Nova Launcher which could not enter fullscreen mode and required intervention from Essential to work as expected. As an enthusiast, you can also add your own applications to the whitelist if you wanted to bypass this limitation. But placing this hassle on the end user did seem like a counterintuitive strategy for a new company.
Now, however, it seems that Essential has backed down on blocking applications from entering fullscreen mode if they wish, instead opting to allow the application to control whether or not it enters fullscreen mode on the Essential. This leaves it up to developers to make the decision, meaning users can now report issues to the app developers rather than edit the whitelist themselves or try to convince Essential to whitelist an application. This ultimately gives users more freedom and can allow developers to make their own decisions if they want to allow full screen on the Essential phone or not.
Essential is currently urging developers to ensure that support for aspect ratios above 1.95 is added to an application if they wish to enter fullscreen mode on the Essential, and not to hardcode any status bar heights within it.Source: Essential Subreddit