With the iPhone X, Apple completely ditched the home button in favour of gestures. The gesture navigation system was soon rolled out by multiple Android OEMs, even though Android doesn't natively support it.
Currently, Android OS relies on three core navigation buttons: back button, home button and a recents tab. Google combined the home and recents buttons in Android 9 but kept the back button untouched. Though, this could change in the upcoming Android Q update.
According to a report by XDA Developers, Google is now planning to completely ditch the conventional Back button to opt for a gesture-based navigation system. And this is a good thing for all of us. Gestures are for sure the future of smartphone navigation, and with core support, the user experience will be drastically better.
Google last year launched Android Pie with a new one-touch button and lots of gesture features. Though, the update let users switch back to the older method of navigation.
Even though a lot of Android phones have gesture navigation available as an option, it works due to the external skin or UI that the OEM has made. This isn't always as smooth and intuitive as native support. In comparison, Apple's navigation is extremely fluid due to deeper software integration.
Swiping left on the screen will enable users to go back and swiping right will take users from their current app to the previous app in a card-like transition. Swifter animations are another major revamp that Google could bring with the update.
Google shall be announcing the next major update to Android at Google I/O developer conference, that is scheduled for 7 May. Google is also expected to launch a redesigned app info screen with “Material Theme”.
There are also rumours that Google could finally bring a system-wide dark mode and even more detailed privacy controls. Google intends to make it easier for users to understand and determine the permissions they are giving to an app.
Please keep in mind, these reports are based on early builds of Android Q, an official feature announcements is pending.