Before releasing Android 10 Q later this summer, Google continues to experiment with gesture-based navigation and improve it. Recently, the company has come so close to Apple's iPhone X approach that it almost feels like a copy. But Google had to rethink the traditional back button of Android. Instead of leaving a button on the screen, Android Q uses a swipe gesture (from both sides of the screen inwards) for the background function.
This change immediately hit the drop-down menus used in countless smartphone apps. For many of them, you can tap on a hamburger menu icon to access that area. However, these icons are often difficult to reach (for example, in the upper left corner of the screen) as our phones get bigger.
Opening the drawer menu with your finger is more intuitive. Now, however, these page menus can only be loaded if you move your finger diagonally. This is a workaround that some users have discovered.
The drawer behavior changes. Users can open the drawer by looking in the drawer and then wiping. A big plus is that it works with existing apps with "old" DrawerLayout versions. pic.twitter.com/WVyOzQFzHO
– Chris Banes (@chrisbanes) July 2, 2019
Fortunately, this situation will improve with the upcoming Android Q-Beta 5. Google says to go to the drop-down menus, people who use full gesture control can tap and hold on the edge of the screen. The menu will be displayed and you can pull it out until it stops. In developing this solution, Google allows quick swiping from both sides of the display to continue to trigger a "back" action.
In addition to this officially announced change, another correction may be made, as reported by 9to5Google . Apparently, a user has early received the next beta version of Android Q and discovered a new setting called "Back Sensitivity". It can be set on a sliding scale, and the user states that this has led to a "significant improvement in navigation".
If you do not like Google's gesture system on pixel phones, Android Q offers the ability to easily return to the older navigation with three buttons and completely ignore the newer method. At least in public beta versions. In my experience, the gestures are not necessarily faster, but you can see more information on the screen as these larger buttons no longer exist, leaving a long, thin line indicating where you need to wipe to get home or bring multitasking.
Updated July 3 at 6:30 pm CET with more information from 9to5Google .