Android 13 confusion (navigation bar, app recommendations)

Hi! I just got the FairPhone 5, previously I used an OnePlus with Android 11.

I love the phone, I love the idea, I love the performance, but some things just really annoy me. I think those are things from Android 13 and not specificially the Fairphone, but Google Support pages did not yield results.

I used to use the 3-button navigation layout. The settings are there to switch between 3-button and gestures, and you can activate the google assistant for the home button, but there is no setting to switch the order of the buttons. Also, on the bottom bar, I get app suggestions for the empty spaces, which also annoys me; what if I only want 4 items there? I also have suggestions on the top of the appdrawer, and I cannot seem to deactivate any of this/find the settings in Settings.

I also used to display seconds in the status bar, the setting doesnt seem to exist here either?
I wouldnt really want to use another launcher, and these should be standard android settings, if you google this issues you will find guides/tutorials/menus with menus that simply arent there on the Fairphone 5.

It is just something that really bothers me, everything else works really well and is nice…

I use a german phone btw.

Does anybody know what I could do?
Thanks in advance

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I managed to get the seconds on the clock with an app (not sure if im allowed to say which), I also noticed Im missing new emojis like the pink heart :confused:

Welcome to the forum.
I don’t see why you shouldn’t share apps that you find useful, with the community. Anything bordering on publicity is of course frowned upon and wouldn’t do the app any good here.

I don’t think it’s possible to exchange the positions of the buttons in three-button navigation.

The bottom line of shortcuts on the home screen is best filled with your five most frequently-used apps, then it’ll stop pestering you. In the app drawer, the top line simply shows the most recently used apps that you’ve launched from the app drawer. This isn’t trying to be clever, just trying to be helpful. Most people I think set up multiple pages of shortcuts in the launcher and seldom use the app drawer. To create extra pages, just move a shortcut beyond the right-hand margin of the home screen. Shortcuts can be for apps, or other elements such as specific contacts, favourite web pages etc.

As for emojis, if you’re using the standard Gboard on-screen keyboard you should find a good selection including hearts of all colours, using a button near the bottom left corner (long press).


(Note that emojis will render differently according to device, OS and version.)

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BTW: not need special app for this, enough is any app that can launch (or create shorcut) for specific app activity (as Activity Launcher, App Manager, or native in Nova Launcher) and from app “System UI” select “System UI demo mode” (

Well those are all also apps? The App System UI Tuner still has this setting.

Reg. The button change this was discussed a few times already and is not possible with stock system and launcher.

Just remind that comapnies like e.g. Samsung customize the systems a lot, so just because a video talks about Android 13 it does not mean its default Android 13…

All this at the end are feature requests you can send to support.


well thats a shame :confused: It was a nitpick anyway, oh well

thanks for your help!
yeah I mean the emoji keyboard from Gboard, on my old phone, I had more emojis, for example a pink heart

I think it is maybe not in the new font/character set, as the emojis look different on my phone (I like the new look! :slight_smile: ), as you can see from the picture, it doesnt even display, it is just a gray box
I assume its again a thing that comes from Android 13/Google and not Fairphone

Yes, I used System UI Tuner.
Thanks for your feedback! Yeah I thought so, think its weird they removed this, trying gestures now as its annoying for me to work with this button layout. I’ll try that; I guess I can also give Google feedback on this too

re. the 4 or 5 buttons in the ‘Dock’, that’s something that’s configurable in the Nova Launcher (which I’ve been using for many years now). Nova settings > Home screen > Dock > Dock icons (choose between 4/5/6)


Also, for anyone also struggling with missing emojis, I uninstalled Gboard from the Play Store (it resets to a default version as you cant uninstall system apps) and then you can press “Update”
After that, I had all emojis :slight_smile:


And on another note, just found another slight annoyance given by Android 13:
the google search bar on the home screen. I cant remove the widget; If I disable the Google App (suggested by some guides), it just permanently shows the date there

That’s nothing new since Android 13, the Google Search Bar is part of the stock Android quite long.

more precisely can be select from 1 to 12 icons per Dock :wink: and even more:

  • can be select multiple “Dock pages” each with own set icons (switch between pages swipe left/right on Dock, similar as switch Home pages)
  • icon on dock can have drawer, with multiple icons hiden in it, and select from
    – tap run prefered icon, swipe up open drawer
    – tap open drawer, swipe up run prefered icon
  • and many many more…

BTW: i’m not PR people from Nova :wink: only longtime happy user on all me current/previous Android devices…

You’re right it’s embarrassingly customizable. I just took a look (haven’t changed it from 5 since about 10 years now)

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