Google’s latest beta iteration comes with better gestures, dark mode, and more.
We’re only a few months away from a new Android OS. The dessert-themed codenames will be deprecated with Android Q. Unless they move to savoury stuff – Android Quiche? But names aside, it’s all about performance and new features and Beta 3 has some nice ones to show off.
Everyone loves a dark mode (I can’t use Twitter without it) and Android Q will have one. Switching between light and dark is as easy as flicking a switch, as is the custom with Android UIs. Apart from aesthetic advantages, it’ll help reduce eye strain and battery drain. A no brainer for an OS in 2019.
They’re calling it “gestural navigation” which just sounds like a buzzword but as the name suggests, it relates to how you move around the OS. Dieter Bohn for The Verge reckons the change is controversial as Q appears to “lift its core set of gestures from the iPhone” as well as offering a gestured back button.
In Q, there’s a long, thin white bar on the bottom of the screen. You swipe up to go home. You swipe up and drag across to go into a multitasking view. You swipe across it
quicklyto switch between apps. (How you’ll get to the Google Assistant is still to be determined). To get to the app drawer, you swipe up from the home screen.
That’s… a lot of swiping. But with many apps requiring swipes to function (example: Tinder gets 1.6 billion swipes per day between 50m users), it seems like a logical step. François Hoang for Abduzeedo welcomed the move:
I must admit that Android nowadays is at its prime. The entire OS feels intuitive at its best and truly love seeing the subtle UI changes and UX patterns.
Screenshots of the beta show Product Sans being used as the main font. Pixel phones and newer Google products already use it so that makes sense. I’ll miss you, Roboto.
Gestures will change with notifications on Android Q. Swiping in either direction currently dismisses a notification. Now each direction has a different function. The system in charge of this is called Notification Assistant.
Unfortunately, I don’t own any products that could test out Android Q Beta 3 so I’ve had to rely on second-hand information from the aforementioned sites. But judging by reports, this is going to be a great update to the OS. I’m looking forward to getting a Pixel 3 when my phone is up for upgrade at Christmas.