First look at new gesture navigation on Samsung Galaxy S9 (Android Pie-d)

First look at new gesture navigation on Samsung Galaxy S9 (Android Pie-d)
The first early build of Android 9 Pie for the Samsung Galaxy S9+ has leaked out in the wild and among the many changes, there is one more profound one: a brand new gesture navigation interface!

Samsung is one of the last companies to adopt navigation by gestures, a trend that Apple started with the iPhone X and that many others (Google, OnePlus, Xiaomi) picked up in their phones soon after.

But Samsung's implementation of gestures will not be the same as what you have seen on Google Pixel phones, so what will it look like?

According to this early build of Android 9 for the Samsung Galaxy S9+, you will be able to hide the on-screen navigation buttons and use swipe-up gestures from the bottom of the screen where the buttons used to be. This means that a swipe up from the left side of the phone can trigger the back action, a swipe up from the center of the screen will bring you back home, while a swipe up from the right side will bring up the multitasking menu.

Speaking of multitasking, Samsung has adopted the new horizontally scrolling card-based interface that we know from Pixel phones (and we love it on the Pixel).

All of this looks promising for one reason: on-screen buttons take up a lot of visual space and you have to be very precise to hit the button, while with gestures you can use the whole screen and you don't have to tap in one particular spot.

Right below, you will find an animation created by XDA Developers who got the scoop about this new interface first. How do you like this new interface?

Related phones

Galaxy S9+
  • Display 6.2" 1440 x 2960 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3500 mAh(35h talk time)



1. Phonehex

Posts: 767; Member since: Feb 16, 2016

Very practical . Should be a good way to navigate.

18. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

Remember Android has had gestures in some launchers for years already. Plus with Android Pie you have the option to use the new gestures, or go back to the older navigation buttons. It's as easy as changing one setting. It's all up to the user. Apple for instance has forced navigation on it's users, and that is your only option. Androids implementation is better.

2. JMartin22

Posts: 2372; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

Finally, having the ability to hide the capacitive buttons will reduce the likeliness of burn in. Gestures were one of the few trends I think is good that companies are adopting three days. Gesture based navigation is really kind to OLED displays that don’t require stack and persistent images for buttons

6. cmdacos

Posts: 4264; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

You've been able to hide the buttons for some time...

17. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

If you actually look at the those navigation buttons, they actually go dimmer and in some cases actually change colour after only a few seconds. Plus you also have the option to use the original navigation buttons, or use the new gestures. Android is all about user choice. It doesn't force you to use one over the other.

3. hansip87

Posts: 228; Member since: Nov 10, 2015

still not as intuitive as what Apple do with X though. hate them or not the UI gesture on iphone X is seamless and intuitive for most people. Google combat this with visual button for years, and i like it. but now with the visual part is gone, the intuitive part is just not there. not to mention the disconnection between gesture and animation on the phone. It's exacerbated more with OEM build of Android.

12. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

The only thing intuitive about Apple's gestures is the ability to swipe between apps. Everything else was on the Pre 9 years ago. Not sure we can call late intuitive.

20. ColinW

Posts: 412; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

I find the gestures on the X completely un-intuitive. Slide up and over for multi tasking, hold and slide for delete with no close all is awful design, for example. I can use a button or simple gesture to access multitasking and one swipe to close app or one press for clear all.


Posts: 261; Member since: May 03, 2013

The best navigation was on the nokia N9. Then again, in some peoples eyes, nothing exists until iPhone has it

9. NinoH

Posts: 131; Member since: Feb 09, 2018

Then again you have people that don’t give credit to any company except Samsung because they had it first on their devices but nobody used it and it was unintuitive.

5. vincelongman

Posts: 5724; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I like this version It's how I've setup XDA gestures on my Pixel 2

23. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

Excited for the final version.

7. cmdacos

Posts: 4264; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

I would much rather have this then what Google or Apple is doing. Impressed by the new 10 interface so far.

8. Awalker

Posts: 1982; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

Tapping a button is quicker. Google or Samsung should have an option to make the nav bar completely invisible or translucent with no buttons showing.

21. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

I'm sure there's an option in the Play Store.

24. Cicero

Posts: 1137; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

You have now a under the screen hidden home key. Keep it long pressed on the screen where usually it is home key and you will get the home screen. I use it on S9+ when I am at full screen.

10. LikeMyself

Posts: 631; Member since: Sep 23, 2013

It's the best implementation. I use the same thing via an app called OnePlus Gestures (Paid). No ugly pills or home bars. Just the gorgeous screen

13. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

Do you still have to connect your phone to a PC to override the current nav bar? That's the only thing that's keeping me from doing it with XDA.

11. YeahYeah

Posts: 250; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Is it me or PhoneArena is just ignorant. Samsung used navigation gestures before Apple. You can hide navigation buttons on the Galaxy S8, 9, note 8 and note 9.

14. Victor.H

Posts: 1076; Member since: May 27, 2011

By gestures, we mean a gesture-based interface to control all functions of the phone like on the iPhone X, not just the ability to hide the navigation bar. I thought that was obvious.

15. YeahYeah

Posts: 250; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Dont you swipe up or down to access Samsung UI? Cause to me that's a gesture. And hiding navigation buttons allows you to use the swipe up gesture to access them again. Maybe I am lost. Please help me understand what do you mean by gestures


Posts: 261; Member since: May 03, 2013

Lol, guess he hasn't used a galaxy.

19. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

Just like he said, on the iPhone X. He thinks the X was the first phone to ever come out with gestures. Everything on the iPhone X was on the Palm Pre.....9 years ago. I guess they forgot that.

25. Cicero

Posts: 1137; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

See my above post about hidden home screen key and the long press on the screen usually where the home screen key is placed.

22. squishypanda8

Posts: 46; Member since: Aug 28, 2015

I like it

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