Android gesture navigation has been around since Android 9 Pie.
The Pixel line of phones was, obviously, the first series of devices to implement the feature using a single pie-like soft button.
Others such as Nokia started doing the same thing.
Chinese phone makers have also been trying to popularise the navigation method. This development can only be attributed to the iPhone X that ditched the physical button with Touch ID for an immersive user experience.
Of course, China-based manufacturers picked it up (Apple unsurprisingly a trend maker – just look at what it did with screen cutouts).
OPPO, for instance, has been doing gesture navigation for as long as I can remember (that is before core Android decided to take that route). The same thing can be said for Huawei, which has since perfected the system.
Now, why is this important? Well, a time is coming, very soon actually, when some manufacturers will stop including the three-button navigation system in their phones. For the moment, the majority of manufacturers still do, but some, including the aforementioned Pixels and some Nokia phones, come with gesture-based navigation only.
For users to start appreciating the fluid nature of using gestures, it might be necessary to compel them to use them, and that means dropping the ordinary buttons.
Those who have not tried the new navigation method my find it unattractive or hard to use, but that is because there is a learning curve here. iOS users have, for instance, gotten used to the method, and are now proficient.
You and the next person can learn to adopt gestures because they are intuitive, and make your home screen look fresh and uncluttered.
Even better is that the majority of Android OEMs are using the same template in implementing gesture navigation: swipe from the button for home, swipe from any side to go back, and swipe up and hold for the recent apps menu.
I think the earlier you start familiarizing yourself with the gestures, the better it would be for you as far as acing gesture nav is concerned.
So go ahead, start now.