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New gestures might make Android Q look more like iOS than ever

Published Feb 19th, 2019 6:04PM EST
Android Q Leaks
Image: Google

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When Google unveiled Android Pie last year, it also introduced new navigation gestures that looked a lot like what Apple did in IOS 11 for the iPhone X. The iPhone without a home button needed a new set of gestures that would allow users to get back to the home screen, open the multitasking panel, and shut down apps.

Unlike iOS, which needed the new gestures, Android would have worked perfectly without the change. After all, Google kept the three-button menu in place on Android for years, even on devices that lacked physical home buttons. Come this year, Google will further refine the navigation gestures, a new leak revealed, which will make Android Q devices behave a lot like the iPhone.

Many people have rightly pointed out that Apple’s gestures implementation isn’t original itself, as it looks a lot like what was available for the long-dead webOS mobile platform. But this doesn’t change the fact that Google appeared to be interested in following in Apple’s footsteps as soon as the iPhone X came out. And, per xda-developers’ findings, Google’s new gestures will give Android Q a more iPhone-like gesture navigation.

The best thing about the new gestures tweaks, as seen in the video below, concerns the back button, which is going away. You’ll still have the functionality in place: You’ll just have to slide to the left on the pill-shaped virtual button to go back. But the whole thing will look a lot neater than before. Rather than having an unsightly back button next to the home button, you’ll only get the pill button in the middle. Just like the iPhone.

Also different in Android Q, at least in this leaked build, is the animation for going back to the previous app. The transition from the current to the last app is smoother and looks more iPhone-like than before. The following video shows the differences between Android Pie and Android Q gestures:

That said, there’s no guarantee Google will actually use these new gestures inside Android Q. The new operating system will probably be available to developers around March, before the public beta launches in May. The final version of Android Q will likely be available on Pixel devices this summer.

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.