Google is testing a new navigation bar for Android P that looks similar to Apples new gesture and UI on the iPhone X. Google accidentally revealed the new navigation bar in an Android developers blog post ( cached copy), and the company removed a screenshot it posted of it in action. The new navigation bar no longer includes a multitasking button, and the center home button looks far smaller and pill-shaped. 9to5Google reports that Google is testing a new navigation bar thats similar to the iPhone X, with a swipe up gesture that reveals the multitasking UI. Its not clear if the pill-like button, that looks similar to the one found on a leaked Moto X5 image, still works as a button, or is simply an identifier to swipe up for home like the iPhone X. Google appears to still be including its back button control too, although 9to5Google reports that this only appears in the context when a back button is required. Google is only testing this navigation bar right now, and the company has previously tested other navigation bar changes in past Android versions without ever shipping them. Still, Google is fully supporting screen notches like the iPhone X or Essential Phone with its Android P update, and a new gesture-powered navigation bar would certainly make it easier for Android developers to make better use of bezel-less displays. Were expecting to hear a lot more about Android P at Googles I/O developer conference next month.
Google appears to have just leaked a major feature coming to Android P, the next version of its OS. According to an image that appeared briefly on the Android Developers blog for an unrelated feature, Android P will come with support for gestured based navigation – and its about time. This is the image Google posted: Notice anything odd? Look at the navigation bar: Heres what it normally looks like on a Pixel 2 running Android O (or the current Android P beta, for that matter): Where did the recents button go? Why is the back button using the old hollow design? And who squished the home button into a pill? While Id like to think Googles Android Team got drunk and experimented with wacky designs, all signs point that gesture navigation is – at the very least – being considered for Android P. According to Stephan Hall from 9to5Google (h/t ArsTechnica), its 100% gesture navigation. The recents button was removed, and the back button only appears temporarily – explaining the lopsided look. And as pointed out by Ars, Android P has a new sliding animation when navigating within an app, which would jive nicely with swiping gestures. That seems like it would make a disappearing back button redundant, but maybe Google just doesnt want to confuse long-time Android users. Google has since removed the evidence, cropping the image to only show off the feature it actually meant to show off. Since we dont want whomever wrote uploaded the image to feel too guilty , thats support for DNS over TLS, if that means anything to you. Though a variety of Android manufacturers have implemented navigation gestures over the years, Google might be considering the move in stock Android in response to the iPhone X and ever-shrinking bezels. In theory, gesture-based navigation could allow you to shrink the navigation bar and save some screen real estate, although that doesnt appear to be the case in this particular image. Its worth reiterating this might not necessarily make it into the final version of Android P; just look at Dark Mode. Nor am I convinced it should replace the traditional navigation bar. But as someone whos been fond of gesture navigation since the Palm Pre, Id be happy to see it return as an optional configuration. With Google I/O coming up in a few weeks, it likely wont be long until this mystery is resolved. DNS over TLS support in Android P Developer Previewon Android Developers