Google is taking a cue from Apple and adding navigation gestures to Android P. While Google’s approach is clearly influenced by that of Apple, its implementation is quite a bit different.
Unlike Apple, Google is not completely ditching the navigation bar in Android P. Instead, it has taken a very mixed approach, with the navigation bar being hidden only in certain scenarios and still showing up inside apps. This means that the actual content viewing area would still remain the same, though the gestures would help greatly speed up navigation and aid one-hand use.
So how is Google’s gesture implementation different from that of Apple? Read below to find out.
Android P vs iPhone X Gestures Compared
Going back to Home Screen
On the iPhone X, you need to swipe up from the bottom to go back to the home screen. On Android P, the home button is shown so you just need to tap it.
One can access the App Switcher on the iPhone X by swiping up from the bottom of the screen and then pausing for a bit. However, this gesture clashes with the home screen gesture, and an easier way to get to the App Switcher is to swipe up from a 45-degree angle on the screen.
In Android P, you need to simply swipe up from the home screen.
Switching between apps
This gesture is pretty similar on the iPhone X and Android P. Simply drag the home bar/button left or right to cycle through your open applications. Google’s implementation is slightly better and faster though as evident from the video below.
To quit apps on the iPhone X, you have to first bring up the App Switcher, tap and hold on a card and enter the force quitting mode. You can then force quit apps by tapping the red icon located in the top-left corner or by simply swiping up on them. This is definitely cumbersome and not very intuitive. In Android P, you simply enter the Overview mode and then swipe up on the card of the app you’d like to close.
Activating Siri/Google Assistant
To activate Siri on the iPhone X, you will have to long press the power button. In Android P, since the home button is still present, you can long press on it to bring up Google Assistant.
Access Control Center/Quick Settings
On the iPhone X, you have to access the Control Center by swiping down from the top-right side of the notched display. On Android P, you can swipe down from anywhere on the notification shade to access the Quick Settings. However, this implementation can vary on devices with a notched display.
Make sure to check out the comparison video from The Verge below to get an overview of the differences in navigation gestures between the iPhone X and Android P.
As you can see, there’s a fundamental difference in the gesture-based approach of Google and Apple. While Apple uses the gestures on the iPhone X to make up for the loss of the home button, Google uses it to speed up navigating around the UI and complement the navigation bar.
While Google not removing the navigation bar is definitely going to disappoint a lot of people, the company is making it contextual in nature to display more useful options. So, on Android P, when you change the orientation of your phone from portrait to landscape, a button to toggle rotation will show up on the navigation bar.
Do you prefer Apple’s implementation of navigation gestures? Or that of Google? Drop a comment and let us know!
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