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Android Q: Google testing better iPhone X-style navigation, hidden Pixel Launcher settings reveal

Android Q Developer Beta version is already available for Google Pixel smartphones.

  • Published: March 18, 2019 9:25 AM IST
android q stock image

Last week, Google released the Android Q Developer Beta version for its range of Pixel smartphones. The latest Android flavor comes with additional privacy and security features, faster app startup, software enhancements for foldable smartphones and new camera capabilities. Google is also reportedly looking to refine the gesture navigation with Android Q to make it as fluid as it is on Apple iPhone X and iPhone XS series.

Google first introduced gesture navigation with Android 9 Pie, but it was a half-baked implementation where you get a pill-shaped button on the bottom bar, and with blank spaces on the sides. And when you are in an app, a back button appears on the left. But a good amount of screen real-estate is wasted in the process. And while Google is expected to retain the pill-shaped button, XDA Developers have discovered new tweaks to gesture controls.

Watch: Android Q How to Install

The settings are not easily accessible to users directly, and one needs have ADB access, and will need to modify stock Pixel Launcher APK to expose Developer Options. A senior XDA member modified the Pixel Launcher to show these hidden flags.

As of now, a swipe up reveals recent apps, swipe up two times reveals app drawer whereas holding the pill-shaped button and swiping left or right lets you switch between apps. However, with the new settings, swiping right on the pill has more “seamless transition animation,” swiping up on the pill goes to home, swiping up and holding the pill shows recent apps whereas swiping up on the navigation bar now opens app drawer, instead of task switcher.

The other gesture lets you swipe down anywhere on the home screen to open the notification panel. And while you will have empty space around the navigation pill, the refined gestures on Android Q will help make navigation easier.

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  • Published Date: March 18, 2019 9:25 AM IST