Now, Google is planning to bring major transformations in a way consumers use an Android device. With the Android Q, the next version of the Android Pie (Android 9), Google will seemingly remove the back button which is currently available with Android 9 Pie and it will replace with gesture control.
Google plans to change the button-based method of navigation.
The tech giant will give the users an option of choosing from traditional or new navigation method. Under the new method of navigation, it will allow for taps, wherein a single tap on the home button will take you to the home screen, a long press on the home button will summon Google Assistant like it has been the case with older versions, a swipe up gesture will bring up the multitasking or overview screen, whereas, a long swipe up will pull up the app drawer. A right flick from the overview screen will open up the last used app. Also, a right swipe will let you browse recently used applications. However, the left swipe option remains unassigned for now. Lastly, as you’d expect, the back button will bring you to the previous screen.
On Monday, XDA Developers reported,
Most of the complaints that people have towards Android Pie's gestures focus on the presence of the dedicated back button and the difficulty of performing the long swipe up of the pill to open the app drawer. While I don't know if the latter gesture will be changed in Android Q, there's a really good chance that Google may kill the dedicated back button.
Google's Pixel smartphone has just a home "pill" and then a back button appears only when it's required. Other phones running Android 9 operating system (OS) have a more traditional three-button layout, while still others teach you custom gestures to get rid of the navigation bar altogether.
With Android 9 Pie, smartphones users can head over to the Settings > System > Gestures > Swipe Up on Home Button to turn on the gesture-based navigation controls.
Google has also made some changes to the split-screen multitasking, and some users might not like it since now with gestures involved it becomes harder for users to invoke the feature. Although the new feature might seem intuitive, however, the older one remains faster. Other than that, the gesture-based navigation controls seem futuristic and are the perfect recipe to maintain large screen real estate with the smaller form factor.
Google has made it clear that this new method of navigation will accompany the latest Android version and has also hinted that it might be the only navigation method in the upcoming Android phones.
However, Google is not going to force Android users to adopt this method. Since the users are still used to tackling the navigation using the traditional arrow and home buttons. According to the tech giant, everyone will be able to make use of this new navigation method.
Google is also seemingly working to improve the overall user experience with upcoming Android Q.