Google just unveiled the first official Android P beta, which is the Android P Developer Preview 2, at the I/O 2018. Android P brings tones of features on the table. In order to get this latest iteration of Google’s mobile phone operating system, users will have to enroll their names in the Android Beta program. After that, they will receive the build through OTA within more or less 24 hours. One of the most intriguing features that Android P beta brings along is the new gesture navigation system. Now here are some of the most interesting and weird things about that feature that you must know before getting into the Android P beta mix.
Android P beta’s new gesture navigation system shows up only if you want it to:
One of the most dramatic changes that the Android P beta brings to the Android smartophones is its new gesture navigation system. It offers the users with a totally remodeled interface to go around your smartphone. It is very significant to the users as to how they open their phones and start moving through the apps. Well, once you first begin using the Android P beta, you will notice that the new gesture navigation system isn’t there. After downloading and installing the update in your phone, Android navigation keys will show up right where it normally belongs. So, how do you get the new navigation system? Well for that you have to head towards the phone’s system settings > Gestures and then select the enable option for “Swipe up on Home button.” It is expected that the new system will become the default for all the Android devices eventually.
The Overview interface is there to stay:
If you choose not to make use of the new gesture navigation system, the Overview interface comes with a completely different look in the Android P. You will be able to use it for the purpose of viewing and operating the apps in your phone. It brings large cards, which can be scrolled horizontally, a search bar and also a bunch of shortcuts for some selected suggested apps.
The good-old back button comes back:
Android P’s gesture navigation system offers one capsule-shaped Home button but that’s only when the user is on the home screen. The good-old Back button comes back once they launch an app or even the app drawer.
Not for space:
One could easily presume that one of the main aims of integrating the new gesture navigation system was to free up the screen space on the phone that the traditional Android navigation buttons occupy. However, that is not exactly the case. With the Android P beta, the capsule-shaped Home button and the old Back button, both reside in the same bar at the bottom of the screen as before. However, they still disappear when the user engages in an “immersive” activity; for example, watching a video in full-screen mode. As the Google Engineering VP Dave Burke stated, the system is about “mak[ing] multitasking more approachable and easier to understand.”
Where is the right-justified Overview button?
Although Android P’s gesture navigation system features a Home button at the center of the screen and also a left-sided Back button at times. However, it doesn’t include a right-justified Overview button and that’s a bit uneven. It’s kind of looks weird as a visual. However, it appears that there is a reason behind it and i.e. the right area of the phone’s screen is reserved for swiping.
All about the swipes:
To get to the overview screen, you have to swipe up once on the Home button, where you last used your apps and the processes will be displayed. All you have to do now is swipe up twice on it or make a long-swipe for accessing the entire app drawer; even if you are not on the home screen. After that, as stated earlier, you can just swipe up on the Home button and navigate through your recently used apps.
This one is for those that seek the shortcuts:
Android P beta’s new navigation system, of course, includes an alternative for the previous Android versions’ fast-switching feature. Well, at least, something like it. Since the Overview key is not present in the Android P beta, if you flick quickly to the right side on the new Home button, it will achieve the same thing as the fast-switching feature. However, in this current iteration of Android, it’s quite consistent and far less snappy.
Split screen and App pinning:
Previously the traditional Android Overview key also held the keys that could activate two of the most advanced Android features, i.e. split-screen mode and app pinning. While split-screen lets the users view two apps on the phone’s screen at the same time, app pinning allows the users lock one particular app to the screen and then it asks for a PIN or password to go to anything else on the phone. Although the Overview key is absent in the Android P beta, both of these features are still there and have found new addresses within the updated Overview interface. To access split-screen, all you have to do is press and hold the icon that’s there at the top of the card of an app card in the Overview interface in Android P beta. After that just select the “Split screen” option. This sends the at the top of the phone’s screen and then lets you select another app, which you choose and add to the mix. App pinning, on the other hand, can be found by long-pressing the same Overview menu.
Google Assistant still comes like it used to:
The new Android Home button is, indeed, multifunctional. You can just tap on it, swipe or long-swipe it up, long-press it, double-swipe it up and also swipe or flick it to the right. Well, if you want the Google Assistant, just long-press the new Home button and that’ll do it, just like the old Android versions.
All the Android devices are not getting the new gesture navigation system:
While launching the Android P beta and describing its various new interfaces, Burke mentioned that the updated visuals would show up “on any device that adopts Google’s version of the UI, such as Google Pixel and Android One devices.” However, he did not really specify as to whether or not this is applicable in terms of the new gesture navigation system. However, gesture navigation was the first thing he talked about after making this statement. Well, it does appear like this feature is going to be a “Google experience”-only element. However, like most of the Android-P-related things, currently it is in its nascent stages and we will know better and more about it in the future.