Android Q: The New Way to Navigate Your Phone

Google has announced new features of Android Q officially releasing this fall. Let's take a closer look at the new gesture-based navigation, a feature which is going to make a big difference in improving user experience. The gesture-based navigation feature is updated in the latest beta launch. On the other hand, Google is still working on many features including a new sensitivity option. 

Before Q, Pi was the first Android version that supported gestures. It was not a true gesture interface but a mix of gestures and some tapping and felt unfinished. Now Google finally brings a true gesture interface to compete with iPhone. Soon Android users will be able to use this feature and say goodbye to the three-button navigation they had on their phones for years. The revamped gesture navigation in Q seems similar to iOS 13 like you can swipe on both edges of the screen to navigate between apps. However, we won’t say that this fully gestural navigation is completely iPhone like. Right now, it doesn't feel as fluid as gestures in iOS 13. 

With the release of the beta version, Google announced that users could become a member of the Android Beta program by signing up and take part in the testing to help them identify issues and bugs. As of now, Beta 5 has been released and the next version may expand on these tweaks. 

Step by Step Guide to Android Q’s Gesture Navigation

q beta gesture navigation

Beta 5 has kept gesture navigation as optional for its users. If you would like to use it, you need to opt-in purposely. We have developed a complete guide to help you how to enable and master this feature on your Android phones.

How to Enable This Feature on Your Phone

Depending on your phone, this process varies. You can also search for the “Gestures” setting app for this purpose. Hopefully, you won’t have any trouble finding this setting app. Right now, we will explain how Pixel 3L users can enable gesture navigation:

  1. From your home page, open the Settings app;

  2. Find and tap on System option;

  3. Click Gestures;

  4.  Select System Navigation;

  5. Lastly, tap on Fully Gestural Navigation.

Just after step number 5, your screen will flash. A few moments later, you will notice that the button at the bottom of your phone’s screen has just disappeared. All you can see is a single white line.

The Revamped Home Button

The home button has been replaced by the white bar or line. You just need to swipe the bottom of your device’s screen to get back home. 

The Pixel Launcher introduced with the Beta 1 version lets you reset your actions. For instance, if you accidentally deleted something from your homescreen, it allows you to Undo it. You can restore the app back by using the Undo option at the bottom of the screen and the app will be back.

Multitasking View

Q offers multitasking view so you can see all open apps. You just need to swipe up and hold your finger for a second to get to the multitasking view. You will be able to see all the recent apps you have used. You can also scroll horizontally to view everything opened in multitasking view.  

Switching Between Applications

As compared to Pie, Android Q offers very smooth navigation with the core gestures. With the multitasking feature, you can quickly navigate between different apps. Instead of swipe up, slide to the left or right. Instead of multitasking view, it will take to you most recently opened apps. Scroll back and forth to move through every app.

Using the App Drawer

The app drawer can be accessed very easily from the home screen. Use the same bottom bar to swipe up and see the apps. To get back to the home screen, simply swipe down. 

Access Google’s Tech Helper 

Google Tech Helper

Google has optimized the assistant with a hint for the gesture and new animation. There are gesture handles to trigger the assistant, so you don’t need to long-press the home button. Instead, just swipe up from bottom corner on both sides of the display to trigger the platform’s high tech helper. You will see the official google colors race across the bottom. 

The Back Gesture

It is the subsequent replacement of the back button in Android Q. To go back, simply swipe horizontally from the right or left side. This quick gesture can be used to revert back to the previous page of the app or close it.

However, there is a problem with this back command as many apps use the same gesture to access the navigation menu. To resolve this, Google has introduced “Peek behavior”. There are two ways to access the in-app menu:

  1. If you use your phone with one hand, just keep your finger on the edge of the screen and wait for a second. The menu will peek out, then swipe across. You may need to master this gesture to avoid going back to the previous page.

  2. Use your two fingers to swipe across the screen from the edge where the app-menu is. You need two hands to perform this action.

There are mixed reviews for this implementation and we need to wait for any update if there would be any changes to address this issue before the final launch.

Force Closing Apps

From the multitasking view, just swipe up the app’s page and push it off the top. 

Have You Tried Android Q Beta?

Q is the upcoming tenth release and 17th version of the Android mobile operating system. Google released the first beta version of Q back in march and has pushed the fifth beta version in July. With every beta release, the company has been making changes in the gestural navigation feature. The fifth beta release is considered very close to the consumer version. 

Let us know if you signed up and used this feature. While it is still a beta version, but completely different from the previous operating systems. We will be waiting for your opinion about this new gestural way of doing things on your Android phone.

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