PSA: Google Pixel 2’s Active Edge Squeeze Doesn’t Work in Immersive Mode
The Google Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL were announced on October 4, and have started to ship in certain markets. At the launch event, Google showed off the Active Edge feature on the phones, which enabled users to squeeze the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL to open Google Assistant or silence incoming phone calls (though it can be remapped to do whatever you want). Users have begun receiving their phones and while playing around with Active Edge, they have noticed that they can’t squeeze their phones when the device is full screen.
Immersive Mode is a feature introduced in Android KitKat which allows the navigation and status bar to be hidden in apps. Users have been enabling immersive mode by following tutorials like our own or by downloading apps like Custom Quick Settings. It’s certainly a popular mod to do because it restores a lot of lost screen real estate, but users have quickly discovered that enabling Immersive Mode comes with a caveat—Active Edge no longer works.
We have discovered that this is not a bug and is instead intended behavior exhibited by the Google Pixel 2. To be precise, here are the conditions we have thus far discovered where Active Edge is disabled:
- In the Google Camera app
- During a phone call
- When the navigation bar is hidden
We found these lines in logcat as evidence this is intentional:
Line 4652: 10-19 13:59:04.809 1610 12848 I Elmyra/ElmyraService: Gated by CameraVisibility Line 2352: 10-19 20:10:10.142 1495 1495 I Elmyra/ElmyraService: Gated by TelephonyActivity 10-19 20:18:56.221 1495 1495 I Elmyra/ElmyraService: Gated by NavigationBarVisibility [mIsNavigationHidden -> true; mExceptions -> [DismissTimer [mReceiverRegistered -> true], SnoozeAlarm [mReceiverRegistered -> true], SilenceCall [mSilenceSettingEnabled -> true]]]
Google’s action to disable Active Edge when Immersive Mode is active makes sense because otherwise an inadvertent squeeze while watching a full screen video would result in Google Assistant being opened. It would have been undesirable and it would have resulted in confusion on the user’s side, so Google did make the right decision here.