[Update x2: More changes] After a week with Android Q Beta 1, here are all the little changes we've noticed
Here are all the little changes in Android Q Beta 2
Google is considering replacing Android's 'back' button with a gesture in Android Q
Google won't break legacy apps that don't use Scoped Storage in Android Q, API enforcement postponed to Android R
[Update: Notification channels too] Android Q Beta 2 adds actionable WiFi and Bluetooth options to the main Settings screen
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Android Pie introduced a new navigation system based on gestures that essentially replaced the bottom bar. It's no secret many users didn't adhere to it and wanted to stick to on-screen buttons. Some manufacturers like Samsung even preferred to replace the whole thing with their own design, and Google appears to have gotten the message, as it's starting to rethink controls in its OS, seemingly getting its inspiration from iOS. Despite these new designs, the company kept the back button, creating an inconsistency between gestures and buttons to interact with the device. However, rumors mentioned it Google was looking at axing the virtual key, creating a fully swipe-based navigation system. New information reveals Android Q might feature more iOS-inspired controls, as the firm is considering replacing the back button with a gesture.
As you can see in the video above, the latest Android Q build lets you swipe from the edge of the screen to go back, just like you would on an iPhone X/XS/XR. Interestingly, you can swipe from either side of the display, but the arrow points left in both cases, which confirms the feature is meant to take you to the previous screen.
This is still an experimental functionality, though, and it isn't enabled by default. Indeed, it's not clear whether it'll be kept for the final release, especially considering it may interfere with the already existing gestures such as the one to open the hamburger menu. However, you can't blame Google for considering it, as some third-party software like Samsung's One Hand Operation or Edge Gestures already let you do that.
If you want to give it a try, you'll have to run the below ADB commands to activate it:
adb shell settings put global quickstepcontroller_edge_width_sensitivity 48
adb shell settings put global navbar_color_adapt_enable 1
We'll keep you posted as we learn more are this feature's availability, and whether Google chooses to officially adopt it.
- XDA Developers