One thing that Apple did right when they copied Android’s excellent notifications drawer feature was its ability to work even with full-screen apps such as games, video players and alternative browsers. By default, Android doesn’t give you this option. If you’re inside a full-screen app and wish to see the time or the latest notifications, you are forced to exit the app and then pull the notification drawer from the homescreen. It’s inelegant, ugly and simply makes for an inconsistent user-experience.
Thankfully, there’s a solution for it. It’s called Smart Statusbar and you can check it out after the jump!
Developed by Kiumiu.CA, Smart Statusbar is an app/tweak designed to enable the status bar and notification drawers in full screen apps. The drawer can be revealed with a simple gesture.
Launching the app for the first time walks you through a one-step tutorial in which you are taught how to call the notifications drawer in full-screen apps; the gesture required for this case is the familiar swipe-from-the-top-of-the-screen one that we’re all familiar with.
After you’re done with the tutorial, the app enables its main feature and presents you with a nice variety of options such as the option to start the app every time you boot, set timeout for when the statusbar will be hidden automatically and whether or not you wish to get haptic feedback every time the notifications drawer is called.
We’ve tested the app on a Samsung Galaxy S II (Android 4.0.3 ICS) and can confirm that it works as claimed. I tried it out with one of my favorite games on Android – Stick Cricket – which is a full-screen app and I was successful in pulling the notifications drawer. It isn’t as smooth as it is on iOS, but it gets the job done.
Smart Statusbar is available in two versions: a free one with basic features and a paid one that comes with extras like on-screen timers, stop watch, alarm along with a secondary bar with “tools essential for gamers”.
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Be sure to check out our Android Apps gallery to explore more apps for your Android device.