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Having done some (admittedly very little) research into users expectations for this, we’ve actually found that most users are very unsure of what’s happened when the address bar is hidden.
It’s certainly confusing, they’re expecting a “web experience” when they browse to a site, even in their mobile browser, which means being able to easily move onto the next site. By hiding the address bar, we make this difficult for them…
I suspect the reason that there isn’t a direct API for manipulating the toolbar is that the OS developers don’t want this sort of technique to be achievable…
While I understand the desire to have greater screen real estate to utilise, does it outweigh the need for users to feel confident in what is happening with their device? And are we not bringing back to live stories of “the fold” if we answer that with a yes?
Just what we’ve found after deploying a few mobile sites and testing, but perhaps useful to know?