Similar to the overhaul Apple introduced with the iPhone X, Google is preparing to introduce gesture-based navigation in Android P. When the software is released, there will no longer be virtual buttons, but an oblong bar.
The new approach is very similar to what iPhone X users have enjoyed since last November. Now, users can navigate Android using a series of swipes and gestures. If you want to execute multitasking, you simply need to perform a short swipe up. A long swipe up will bring up the app drawer, just as it currently does in Android Oreo.
Additionally, users can swipe left or right on the navigation bar to quickly switch between open apps, just like you can do with the iPhone X. It’s a much faster way to bounce between experiences without completely jumping into your multitasking screen. Which, by the way, is now a horizontal scrolling list of interactive cards.
Google isn’t changing the experience up completely. The back button is still there in some situations, signaling to users that they can easily undo an action. But it’s a pretty drastic change for Android users, who have gotten acclimated to the traditional three-icon layout of back, home, and multitasking.
Gesture navigation takes some getting used to, but as iPhone X users have learned, it feels much more natural. You’ll soon realize that tapping on virtual buttons is a lot more archaic compared to gestures.
Android P’s new gesture-based navigation will launch with several other big features when the software is available this fall.