Google officially released the latest Android 9 Pie OS on August 6, 2018. It was initially available for Google Pixel devices and the Essential Phone. With the ‘Pie’ version, the search giant introduced a new type of gesture-based navigation system, which leverages pill-shaped icon to perform certain duties, including opening the app drawer, jumping into multitasking window and heading back to home.
Now, with the forthcoming Android Q, Google is reportedly planning to eliminate the back button, XDA reports. Earlier versions of the Android operating system offered ‘Back button,’ ‘Home button’ and ‘Recents button.’ Google then mixed the ‘Home’ and ‘Recents’ buttons with the Android 9 Pie OS, and retained the ‘Back button.’ Now, the cited source claims that the search giant is working on two new features, including the elimination of the conventional back button. Google will instead add gesture-based navigation system completely.
According to the early build of Android 10 obtained by the mentioned source, to head back, users will need to swipe left on the screen. Another feature that Google might introduce with the Android Q is smoother transition animations. The feature might be identical to the way gestures work in Apple‘s iOS 12. With the Android Q, swiping right would take you to one app to the next app in a card-like transition. The new addition would no longer take users into the full Recents menu.
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Notably, the two mentioned changes are still in development and there is a possibility that Google could even scrap the features before the first Android Q developer preview. Apart from the smoother gesture-based navigation system, the next version of the Android operating system is also expected to offer a system-wide Dark mode. “Dark mode is an approved Q feature […] The Q team wants to ensure that all preloaded apps support dark mode natively. In order to ship dark mode successfully, we need all UI elements to be ideally themed dark by May 2019,” a Google employee earlier said.