The one app that vastly improved my Nexus 7 experience
So, I'm pretty happy with my Nexus 7 (2013), all things considered, but one app I found a couple months ago has made things all the better. As I mentioned in my initial post:
My other complaint: given the size of the Nexus 7's screen, I am definitely looking forward to more apps adopting KitKat's immersion mode, especially the Kindle app - software buttons have no place taking up screen space in games and eBooks. I'm still torn on the idea of software buttons in general, but so far they're been tolerable. It's one less moving part to break, at least, but in some cases, I just want them to go away. Hopefully developers will take care of that.
Unfortunately, many app developers still haven't stepped up to the plate in this regard. Fortunately, there's an app that will allow you to put any app in Immersive Mode. It is, appropriately, called Immersive Full-Screen Mode.
Quite simply, it puts a persistent notification in your notification shade that switches between Immersive Mode and Non-Immersive Mode with a single tap. It works great with my most-used apps, like the Kindle app, Chrome, and Feedly. So far, the only downside I've found is that you can't type while in Immersive Mode, but I believe that's more a limitation of the API than the app itself.
It sounds like a small thing, but when doing pure content consumption - as I'm usually doing on a tablet - reclaiming the unnecessary screen space used by the software buttons and the notification shade is a godsend. Combined with setting I enabled that smoothes scrolling performance in Chrome, I have very little complaints remaining about my Nexus 7 experience.