• In the latest Android 15 preview, it’s now possible to switch back to a persistent taskbar.
  • The taskbar feature debuted with Android 12L as a persistent tool that took up the screen’s entire width.
  • With the launch of the Pixel Tablet and Pixel Fold, Google revamped the taskbar to take up less of the screen and be transient, but Android 15 DP2 now gives you a choice between styles.

Back in early 2022, Google announced Android 12L, the first version of Android dedicated to large-screen devices (like tablets) since 2012’s Android 3.0 Honeycomb. One of the key features of Android 12L was the taskbar, a dock that resides at the bottom of the screen and provides quick access to your apps. With the taskbar, users can quickly launch a new app from any screen or even enter a split-screen view. The taskbar is a staple feature of desktop operating systems, so its inclusion in Android 12L was a no-brainer given Google’s renewed focus on productivity.

The original version of Android’s taskbar, however, stretched the entire width of the screen and was persistent, meaning it was always there. While users could temporarily stash the original taskbar by long-pressing on an empty area, its design overall was limiting. The fact that it was always visible wasn’t that useful for anyone but hardcore multitaskers. Plus, it took up a lot of screen real estate, hindering productivity on smaller devices, like book-style foldable phones.