Android Q

Update, April 3, 2019 (03:28 PM ET): Shortly after publishing the article below, we found out through XDA Developers that the newest beta version of Android Q has a hidden navigation bar that is long and thin and replaces the “pill” icon. Frankly, it looks so much like the iPhone XS navigation design that it’s uncanny.

You can’t see the navigation bar unless you use some ADB commands. However, it does suggest that Google is really trying hard to simply copy how iOS gestures work as it brings them to Android Q, which is further emphasized by the app-switching gesture described below.


Original article, April 3, 2019 (03:07 PM ET): The second beta of Android Q arrived today, and we’ve just begun to investigate the new features and updates to Android’s next flavor.

A prominent update we’ve noticed is that there’s a new app-switching gesture that feels oddly familiar. In Android Q, to switch between your open apps, you now can swipe either right or left on the navigation bar, depending on whether you want to move forward or back in the chronological list of your apps.

If you’re sure you’ve heard this before that’s because this is literally the exact same gesture that appears in iOS on the iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max.

Check out how it works in the GIF below:

This isn’t the first gesture from the iPhone that’s made its way to Android. In fact, the current app-switching gesture within Android 9 Pie (and Android Q) also appears in iOS. This gesture involves you swiping up on the “pill” icon and then swiping left or right to scroll through your open applications.

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For what it’s worth, it appears that Android Q will keep both gestures, with the newest one acting as more of a quick-swap gesture and the swipe-up gesture being better for searching for a specific app.

It should also be noted that this new app-switching gesture is very rough around the edges right now. The animations are clunky and the gesture only works some of the time. However, this is a beta release, so it’s likely Google will refine this between now and the launch of the stable version of Android Q.

What do you think? Are you happy that Android Q will have more gestures, or are you feeling like Android is getting too close to iOS? Sound off in the comments.

NEXT: The top Android Q beta features you should know

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