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One major Android N change you’re going to hate…for about five minutes

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:19PM EST
2016 Nexus Android N Update

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Google is getting closer and closer to the moment diehard Android fans are waiting for, the official release of Android N to supported Nexus devices. Google already explained at I/O 2016 the new features of this new Android release, but it didn’t reveal everything there is to it.

While Android N will still be baked using Google’s tried and tested Material Design, a report details a change we didn’t see coming: new navigation buttons. Yes, you’re probably going to hate it, at least until you get used to it.

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According to Android Police, which often provides accurate details about unreleased Android features and devices, Google is redesigning the home and navigation buttons. For some inexplicable reason, Google seems to think a redesign is in order, even though the current design is only a couple of years old.

The site says that it remains unclear whether all Android N devices will get the new navbar buttons (old Nexus hardware included), or whether the design change is restricted to this year’s Nexus devices.

“According to our source, the new multi-colored home button does animate in some fashion when long-pressed, with the various colors expanding in their corresponding directions until they all file out horizontally,” the site says. “I know – it’s not exactly easy to visualize, but stuff happens. As you can see, all they keys are also now opaque – an interesting change.”

Google’s Sundar Pichai said recently that Nexus devices will no longer run pure Android versions, and this sort of tiny but immediately noticeable changes might help Google give an identity to the Nexus line. Even so, updating the home and navigation buttons in this manner is probably going to enrage some people, at least until they get used to the new design.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.