Android L is Taking Over Your Screen – Here’s How to Take It Back

Sad Droid with Keyboard

Came across an interesting post on r/Android last weekend, wherein a redditor compared the screen real estate on his 2014 Moto X to his girlfriend’s iPhone 6. The results were surprising: not only does Android L’s onscreen keyboard take up more space than its iOS counterpart, but iOS itself generally seems to display more information per screen.

I’m embedding the screen grabs for you here, and immediately afterwards will give root users a secret weapon to reclaim their Android displays.

Here are the comparisons via Imgur. Once again, iPhone 6 on the left, 2014 Moto X on the right…

iOS vs Android Keyboards

Yelp on iOS vs Android

Verge on iOS vs Android

Now, if you wanted to do something about this there’s a free utility available on the Play Store that you can use to change your DPI—or more accurately, PPI. It’s called Textdroider DPI.

Textdroider DPI

Here’s the basic interface. It’s pretty simple, really: just enter a new DPI (PPI) value, apply, then reboot. Nexus 5 owners have used this tool to great success—lowering their PPI from an almost cartoonish 480 to a more usable 445.

The bad news is that this utility requires root access on your device. But the good news is that it seems to work fine on Android L, despite not having been updated since 2012. Your mileage may vary, so proceed with caution.

2 thoughts on “Android L is Taking Over Your Screen – Here’s How to Take It Back”

  1. Looks like the new version of Android is making lots of Hacker News users angry…

    Stop Changing UIs for No Good Reason

    What’s your take on this?

    I just discovered “Here” (formerly known as “Nokia Maps”) in the above post that seems to have good offline support so I’m giving it a try (as I’m a bit dissatisfied with some parts of Google Maps).

    1. Thanks for that link!

      I only ever use custom ROMs, so six or so months from now I’ll probably give something with Lollipop a try. I generally prefer dark UIs, though, and I’m in no hurry to upgrade to stock 5.0

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