I'm a sucker for animations. Objectively speaking, they don't add any functionality (some might even say that incessant animations make tasks slower and end up actually reducing productivity), but I still can't get enough of them. Fortunately for me and for any other animation fans out there, Android P has a couple of new transition animations that look pretty dope.

The first animation that has changed in Android P is the app switching transition. While in Oreo, the transition between apps was done on the vertical axis, the one in P switches applications from side to side. To get a better understanding of how this looks in practice, have a look at the comparison below, where both animations have been slowed down by 500%.

Left: App switching animation in Android Oreo Right: App switching animation in Android P

The other new animation is a little more subtle, but also pretty nifty. Previously, when switching activities within the same app (e.g. by hitting the 'Back' button to head to another menu within the app), Android showed a sort of crossfade between both screens, with a very slight vertical slide-in or slide-out. In P, the crossfade animation is all but gone, with a much more pronounced vertical sliding transition now being used instead. Again, have a look below for the comparison at 5x reduced speed.

Left: Activity switching animation in Android Oreo Right: Activity switching animation in Android P

I can't help but wonder if Google has some second intention in making the app switching animation a side-sliding transition instead of a vertical one. As anyone who's held an iPhone for more than a few minutes can tell you, iOS also has a horizontally sliding app switching animation much like the one now in Android P. Of course, the reason is that iOS also uses some gestures for switching between apps that makes side-switching a more logically obvious gesture: you can either 'Force Touch' the left side of the screen and swipe to the right, and on the iPhone X, swiping on the bottom of the screen to either side will also switch between apps. Perhaps Google is considering implementing something similar on Android. I mean, if we're already copying iOS's bad ideas, why not copy the good ones too?

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  • navjot