Google at its I/O keynote taking place in Mountain View, California has shown off features that are coming in Android P, a new version of Android operating system that’s set to launch this fall.
It does show that Android P indeed rips off iPhone X navigation gestures, alongside shared some new information about how Android P will work and importantly, how users will interact with it when it launches later in this year. Focusing Google on three parameters for Android P: Simplicity, Intelligence, and Digital Wellbeing. Android P has a new gesture-focused interface, which is similar to the interface that Apple introduced for the iPhone X.
Some of those ways will appear instantly familiar to anyone who has used an iPhone X, too, with Android 9’s new navigation gestures and interface borrowing heavily from Cupertino, Google’s “new design makes Android multitasking more approachable and easier to understand,” said Android Engineering VP Dave Burke on stage, after explaining that Google has been working on it for more than a year.
When Android P ships, the traditional Home and Multitasking buttons that we are all now accustomed to will be gone. That means that apart from the Back button that appears within apps, the single pill bar at the bottom of the screen will be the only way that users will be able to navigate through Android, and it looks suspiciously like a shorter version of the gesture bar built into iOS on the iPhone X.
Instead, as with the iPhone X, there’s a little oblong navigation button at the bottom of the screen that enables several gestures like swiping up to access a card-like interface that displays a search bar and recently used apps. Swiping upwards will see a multitasking interface appear with a left or right swipe moving users through their recent apps as well as a search bar and five predicted apps at the bottom of the display. You can swipe through the apps to go forwards and back through them.
A second swipe up on the button icon opens up an All Apps screen where all of the apps installed on the device are located for quick access, will open the app drawer, with a tap of the pill returning users Home. These gestures continue to work inside apps, too. This is something iOS users love about the iPhone X and its gesture bar, and we’re sure Android users will as well. No matter which app is being used, while a tap brings you to the Home screen. Swiping left or right in a “Quick Scrub” gesture lets you swap between your recently used apps, something taken directly from iOS.
Dozens of other features are coming to Android P, like simplified volume controls, improved notifications, better screenshots, which will be outlined by Google over the rest of the week.
Android P is available to try which is been rolling out in a beta capacity starting today on the Google Pixel and several other flagship devices from various companies. And the final version will ship later this year.
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