As per an early leaked build of Android Q, the dedicated back button could be removed as its function is taken up by the central pill.
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Google introduced gesture-based navigation with Android 9 Pie and while it was a departure from the three soft key navigation, the implementation was not considered perfect. Now, with the upcoming Android Q operating system, the company might again make changes to the way gestures work. XDA Developers previously got their hands on an early build of Android Q and digging around in it, they found that the dedicated back button could be ditched in the upcoming Android iteration. Right now in Android Pie, there is a back button that Google could have gotten rid of, however, it might have decided to keep it since users upgrading from older OS version are accustomed to the older software navigation keys.
Since the back button might be ditched, swiping left on the main navigation pill will perform the function of going back. Additionally, a single right swipe on the pill would help changing between the recent apps. While the same happens right now, the animation is zooming out of the current app and switching to the previous one. However, the newer animation transition is much smoother with the recent app sliding in instead of zooming out. As per the report, rest of the navigations could remain the same like tapping on the pill opens the home screen, long pressing it opens up the Google Assistant, a short upward swipe on the pill opens recent apps, and long swipe on it opens the app drawer.
It should be noted that these new navigation gestures were dug out of an early Android Q build. So, there’s a chance that Google could change things around or scrap the changes altogether. Google will host its IO 2019 event from May 7 till May 9, 2019, where it is expected to announce the next Android flavour. Some reports regarding the Android Q build has already surfaced online, mostly sourced from the leaked build. There’s a strong possibility that Google might finally bring system-wide dark mode with the next major Android upgrade and implement revamped permissions.
A previous report tipped that Google could be working on adding support for biometric face recognition hardware, same as Apple. “Dozens of strings and multiple methods, classes, and fields related to facial recognition in the framework, SystemUI, and Settings APKs in the leaked AOSP build of Android Q” are said to have been spotted. The most interesting bit is an error message that is prompted when the device doesn’t have facial recognition hardware. This suggests that Android Q expects devices to feature hardware-based face recognition sensors.
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