Enable Gesture Navigation in Android Q

Enable gesture navigation
How to Enable Gesture Navigation in Android Q?

Android Q has many new features such as Gesture Navigation and system-wide Dark Theme, Live Caption, Focus Mode, and many more. Out of these Gesture Navigation is one feature that arrived with Android Pie gives users the option to use gestures for common tasks such as opening the app drawer, switching between apps, and closing apps.

The main gestures introduced in Android Q for navigation were:

  1. Back Gesture: Swiping from the left or right edge of the screen towards the center activates the back function, replacing the traditional back button.
  2. Home Gesture: A swipe up from the bottom of the screen takes users to the home screen, similar to pressing the home button.
  3. Recent Apps Gesture: Swiping up from the bottom of the screen and holding activates the recent apps overview, allowing users to switch between recent applications.

These gestures were designed to provide a more immersive experience, especially on devices with edge-to-edge displays, by minimizing the need for visible navigation buttons. However, users were given the option to revert to the traditional button navigation if they preferred.

How to Enable Gesture Navigation in Android Q?

How to Enable Gesture Navigation in Android Q?
How to Enable Gesture Navigation in Android Q?
  • To enable Gesture Navigation in Android Q first Open the Settings app
  • Then navigate to System and tap on Gestures
  • Then tap on System navigation
  • Next toggle fully Gestural Navigation option

This will replace the navigation buttons with a long, thin line at the bottom of the screen.

Also, you will find here fully gesture navigation as the System navigation setting shows you all the available navigation options. From here, tap the Fully gestural Navigation to enable full stock navigation gestures. The System navigation also lists two other navigation options

  • 2-button navigation: Back + Home button with partial gestures.
  • 3-button navigation: OG navigation bar with Back, Home, and Recent buttons.

In case you have any issue with gestures, you can switch back to any of the other two options whenever you want.

Android Q Gestures

Android Q gestures
Android Q gestures

Currently available Gestures in Full Gestural Navigation are:

  • Back: Swipe from the left or right side of the screen
  • Home: Swipe up from the pill
  • Recent items: Swipe up from the pill and hold for a second
  • Switch between open apps: Swipe left and right on the pill
  • Google Assistant: Swipe up diagonally from any bottom corner

Android Q’s gesture navigation seems to borrow its core set of gestures from the iPhone. The most significant difference is that, unlike the iPhone, there’s a bottom bar which consumes its own screen space. When activating gestures in Android Q, the pill button disappears. Instead, the long, slim white coloured bar appears at the bottom of the screen where you can swipe up to land on the home screen. To navigate back to the previous screen while using apps or browsing on the internet, swipe opposite from the left or right edge of the screen.

Using the gesture navigation

For the multitasking view, you need to swipe up and drag across. Swiping across quickly lets you switch between apps and a swipe up from the home screen opens the app drawer.

After turning on the gesture navigation in Android Q, phones that don’t have Pixel’s squeeze option seem to be in a fix on how to launch Google Assistant. Turns out there is this hidden and peculiar gesture to invoke Google Assistant in the latest Android. Swipe diagonally from the right or left bottom corner of the screen and hold until Assistant fires up.

If you don’t get it right the first time, try swiping exactly from the corner. It is this placement which is hard to perform every time accurately.

About the author

Kamal Kaur