The latest Android Q Beta 5 shows how gesture navigation is set to get better. Back gestures and side menus have always been at odds since they are accessed the same way and things are about to improve with the latest Android Q Beta 5.
With gestures enabled, accessing the drawer menu will be done by pressing and holding at the edge of the screen to get a peek and pulling it will open it. The peeking action is present even with on-screen navigation on Android Q and other older Android versions. When gestures are enabled, the back arrow animation is triggered.
🚧 The drawer behavior is changing. Users will be able to open the drawer by peeking the drawer, and then swiping. Big benefit is that this works with existing apps with "old" DrawerLayout versions. pic.twitter.com/WVyOzQFzHO
— Chris Banes (@chrisbanes) July 2, 2019
This is an improvement on Android Q Beta 4 gestures that was rather buggy especially since most apps are ditching the side menus for bottom navigation buttons. This recent development is system-wide and beta users should expect this update soon.
The Gesture navigation settings feature a new Sensitivity option that has a slider setting that goes from low to high. Will this new customization solve Android’s broken gesture navigation? Maybe or maybe not depending on actual everyday use.
This drawer confusion was the number one thing I figured would be confusing when I saw Android Q ahead of Google IO. Glad it's being resolved — but not a hundred percent sure this is a workable / understandable fix. https://t.co/g0JtBRsZuY
— Dieter Bohn (@backlon) July 3, 2019
Google has another measure called exclusion zones that will hopefully fix the accidental swipes whether users are accessing the side menu drawer or using the back gesture navigation. Google wants app developers to set exclusion zones on their apps for both of these functions. There are other issues that need fixing too including the discordance between the recent and back gestures.
I've reported an Android Q issue when using Q's new gesture navigation with a 3rd party launcher: recents list flashes on screen when using the swipe up gesture to return home: https://t.co/tLdKfKaQrt
Q development is entering final stages – please consider starring this issue. pic.twitter.com/yZ7iVr3Naf
— Chris Lacy (@chrismlacy) June 11, 2019
If you really aren’t a fan of the gestures, you can always go back to the on-screen navigation buttons.