Google showed off its vision for gesture navigation in Android with the second preview release at I/O, and it was... not great. With the new dev preview 3 release, Google has made a few tweaks to gesture nav functionality, plus there's a basic tutorial. 

You still swipe up on the home button to access recent apps in DP3. However, it's easier to access the app drawer. A short swipe up just gets you the recents, and a slightly longer one moves smoothly to the app drawer. In DP2, you had to swipe twice for the app drawer or drag almost all the way to the top of the screen in one smooth motion. This new approach is an improvement, but I don't understand why swiping up on the home screen dock is still a recent app gesture—it should only apply to swiping on the home button.

 

When you're in the overview screen, you can now swipe back down on the app shortcuts at the bottom to close overview. So, it takes you back to where you were rather than switching to the last app like it did in DP2.

It's going to take time to adjust to gesture nav on Android, and it clearly still needs some refinement. Google has added a basic tutorial in the latest preview to help with that. You should get blue popup messages that explain the controls after you've opened a few apps. You can dismiss them if you want to go it alone.

  • Thanks:
  • Emil and Cassidy