When an Android device has broken hardware buttons, using it can be a real adventure. You push one button, and it does that complete opposite of you what you want. Some users have even turned to rooting to try and turn on Android’s software navigation bar. The real dilemma is how to How to Add Softkeys on Android Without Root?
The issue is that not everyone is comfortable with rooting. If they are willing to root, they can’t find a rooting guide for their particular phone. The good news is that there’s an app called Virtual Softkeys that allows you to enable the on-screen navigation buttons without having to root your Android device. You know, the ones you see on your Android tablet.
How to Get An On-Screen Navigation Bar Without Root
To get things started, you’ll need to install the Virtual Softkeys (no root) app. When you first open the app, it’s going to ask for some permissions, but generally, it will just be ¨Draw over the apps¨. This permission should be enabled by default but if it isn’t then you’ll just need to follow the on-screen instructions.
You’ll be asked to go to Settings, and there will be a button at the bottom you can tap on to go there. In Android’s Accessibility menu, toggle on VirtualSoftKeys and then turn on the service by using the switch on top of the screen. Tap on OK on the popup and your choice will be confirmed.
How to Adjust The Settings for The On-Screen Buttons
It’s time to customize how the app looks so that you can give it your own personal touch. You should see a semi-transparent red bar across the bottom of your display. This is the trigger that will either hide or show your softkeys.
The keys are going to show up when you swipe up from this area and disappear when you swipe down on them. You can easily make this trigger area bigger by using the Gesture Height slider.
Don’t forget to change a feature called Smart Hidden. If you turn it on, the on-screen navigation buttons will automatically hide when you use your keyboard.
This is good news because you won’t have to worry about it covering up your space bar and the other buttons at the bottom of your keyboard. You can also decide when you want the Softkey bar to go away. The drop-down menu lets you choose between Now, Permanent, one Second, three Seconds and five seconds.
You can also set things up so whenever you rotate your phone; the softkeys will be hidden. If you don’t hide them, they will appear in the current position your phone is in.
How to Navigate with Your New Softkeys
To see your new softkeys, just swipe up from the bottom of your display. Thank your lucky stars that you’re not having screen rotation issues like some Android users. You’ll be able to use the back button, Home, and Recent Apps button. Whenever you want your softkeys to go away, just swipe down the buttons.
So, if your Android phone has some broken buttons but you’ haven’t been able to get it fixed, this is a great temporary solution. You can even customize it the way you want. What are your thoughts on the app? Leave a comment and let me know.