Google improves feature that will make Android handsets run like the Apple iPhone
The gesture controls for Android that Google included with Android 9 Pie have been roundly criticized by some. Put a little too much umph in your swipe up to see the recent apps you've opened, and you can find yourself opening the app drawer instead. Some gesture purists have looked down on Google's inclusion of a back button (which only appears when there is a page to move back to) and others complain that the animation while using the gesture controls is not as smooth as it should be.
XDA was able to access the Developer Options menu on the Pixel Launcher using a Pixel 2 XL running the Android Q beta. Opening the menu revealed a number of gesture based options that when enabled, add new capabilities for those using gesture navigation on their Android Q powered Pixel handset. These changes include:
- More seamless transition animation when swiping right on the "pill" when changing tasks.
- You can return to the previous task by swiping left on the navigation bar.
- Similar to gestures on ceertain iPhone models, swiping up on the "pill" will take you home (new animation is included with this gesture).
- You can view your Recent Apps by swiping up on the "pill" and holding.
- While in the launcher, swiping up on the navigation bar will show the app drawer only.
- The notification panel will appear if you swipe down anywhere on the screen.
If all of these changes are implemented in Android Q, using gestures on the upcoming build of Google's open source operating system will be very similar to how gestures work on the iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. Of course, we should know more during Google I/O. The annual developer conference will take place between Tuesday, May 7th and Thursday, May 9th.
Google released the first Android Q beta last week
A pre-release version of Android Q that XDA was able to obtain last month revealed that the back button will finally be eliminated in the next Android build. Instead of using that button to go back, a user will be able to swipe left on the "pill" to get the same results. Swiping right on the "pill" with an open app on the screen will take the user back to the previously active app.
If they don't want to use the current gesture controls, Android 9 users can choose to use the older navigation buttons that are also found on older versions of Android. Currently, there is a back button on the left, the home button in the middle, and the Recent Apps button on the right.
Google released the first beta version of Android Q last week for the Pixel handsets. Last year, seven non-Google phones were able to install the Android P betas (Essential Phone, Nokia 7 Plus, OnePlus 6, Oppo R15 Pro, Sony Xperia XZ2, Vivo X21 and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2s) and we expect a larger number to be compatible with the Android Q beta releases this year.