Android's new navigation has iPhone X-style home indicator, and runs on swipes



With the P20 family of Huawei, we have the first major Android handsets that have reworked the interface to fit a notch in, and even add an iPhone X-esque home indicator in the nav bar settings. Was that a harbinger of things to come?

Turns out yes, as Google just got on stage to announce a new gesture-based navigation system for the next version of Android. In a follow-the-trend mentality, upcoming Android phones, and not only of the Google Pixel variety, will have a new home bar indicator at the bottom - you know, like on the iPhone X, but a bit shorter. 

Recent app button duties are taken over by a swipe-up gesture, again very familiar one, but, thankfully, swiping on the elliptical indicator serves as a scroller (Google calls it quick scrub" gesture), but there is still a back key on the new nav bar. That one differs, for the simple reason that iOS doesn't have a universal back key (duh). 

There are a few new and very welcome interface additions, though -  the volume slider is now vertical, and will adjust the media, instead of the ringer volume by default, sweet. Rotating the screen can be manual now, too, with an indicator at the navigation bar to tap on. Android makers are already giving this new Google gesture system as one more option to navigate their phones, instead of the default option, so the transition could actually be painless.

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36 Comments

1. pokharkarsaga

Posts: 545; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

Looks ugly.Do something like sailfish or ubuntu touch OS.

2. jmill75

Posts: 122; Member since: Jul 22, 2009

I like it

12. MINDoSOUL

Posts: 322; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

It's really ugly, i hope there will be an option to hide the navigation icons. The good thing is that the background of the navigation bar is transparent which means it would be easy for developers to hide the icons if Google didn't do it natively. Otherwise I will have to disable the navigation bar all together and use a gesture navigation app for that purpose.

22. sgodsell

Posts: 7028; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

This is Android, there will always be options to change the UI. It's iOS where you are stuck with what ever Apple gives you.

35. Trex95

Posts: 2376; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

You can with jailbreak lol.

25. wie155

Posts: 35; Member since: Sep 24, 2012

Yes, there is an option to select whether you want to use soft button or gesture. You can find the video on Youtube

32. MINDoSOUL

Posts: 322; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

That's not my point, i am pro gestures but not with this implementation. What's the point of gestures if you keep using navigation (icons,bar,slider) and waste space for navigation which results in obscuring your app vision. Instead the screen should be clean from any hints of how to navigate, they should teach how to navigate in the settings page that's what i meant.

28. audibot

Posts: 598; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

it looks like a cheap rip off of the web os. and a bad one at that and i loved pre web-os almost like the first launchers with diamond and hex home screens from 2009

3. palmguy

Posts: 974; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

Gestures R.I.P. webOS :'(

4. Loveneesh

Posts: 430; Member since: Jul 14, 2015

I'm the only one who thinks that navigation buttons with front fp sensor is much better than on screen buttons or gesture controls? And a little bezel on top and bottom is better than the all screen notch designs?

7. torr310

Posts: 1633; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

I am with you dude... I know what I like very well and knowing the "trends" aren't always for me.

29. audibot

Posts: 598; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

nope am with ya

5. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1313; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

Has Samsung not been doing gestures on their phones years? Clearly Apple copied Samsung. Also, Japanese animators knew this was coming because I've seen gesture interfaces in anime for phones for the past 10 years.

9. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Sigh... this might be the saddest reply I’ve seen today. Do you honestly believe that Apple, the most successful mobile phone maker in history, copied a feature... from Japanese cartoons? Are you for real my guy?

10. Papa_Ji

Posts: 812; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

*Apple, the worse mobile phone maker in history. APPLE = THE BIGGEST COPYCAT COMPANY ON EARTH.

15. NateDiaz

Posts: 1084; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

lmao butthurt, Apple is trendsetter try harder next time

16. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1299; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Name one thing in which Apple was a trendsetter in the past year?

17. NateDiaz

Posts: 1084; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

Vertical camera alignment, notch, face unlock.

20. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1299; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

I wasn't aware incorporating pre-existing features was trendsetting.

21. NateDiaz

Posts: 1084; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

You ain't aware of a lot of things, work hard.

27. wie155

Posts: 35; Member since: Sep 24, 2012

Apple IS the trendsetter, but not the first to invent those things. Notch = essential phone, vertical camera = LG optimus 3D, face unlock = phone with android 4.0(Galaxy Nexus). Other company just followed apple because they think people would buy their product if they make a product similar to iPhone, so whatever design Apple make they will follow, even the ugly antenna line.

36. Trex95

Posts: 2376; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

You wish lol.

11. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

They didn't copy gestures from anime, but it does show what Apple did ain't nothing new or special. But somehow a lot of people think they invented natural gestures and the rest just copied them. Its nothing more than a solution to bigger and bigger screens without physical buttons

14. SIGPRO

Posts: 2813; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Yes they did, gestures came first with Meego, then Sailfish! Know the history iSheep!

19. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3111; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Say what? The first was webOS in June of '09. Know your history.

26. wie155

Posts: 35; Member since: Sep 24, 2012

oh course not, they are copying the gesture from webOS, and not just gesture, task switcher also

30. audibot

Posts: 598; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

they copied it from web-os after patent rights ran out not anime silly

6. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

This gesture-based navigation is a natural evolution based on the fact that hardware buttons are disappearing. Even Samsung ditched their hardware buttons. So it's only natural to allow more interaction with otherwise static buttons. Webos was ahead of its time back then, but for now, it's a natural progression of GUI interaction.

8. cmdacos

Posts: 3969; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Hope they are customizable like the same gestures we have had for years via Nova and the like.

13. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3111; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

There's nothing "evolutionary" going on here nor is anyone copying Apple. Gesture-based UI was introduced 9 years ago and it's name is webOS. BlackBerry did a shameless ripoff 3 years later but since nobody cares about BlackBerry, no one noticed. There's nothing new here and nothing that even slightly improves on Palm's masterpiece. I just wish Palm's hardware wouldv'e been half as good as the iPhone 3GS back then. Android who? would have been the catch phrase.

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