Exploring Android 10 : Will Gesture Navigation work ?

The US-technology giant Google launched the first beta version of Android Q in March 2019. The same OS has a new name which is ‘Android 10’.  With the latest android release, the company adds additional capabilities and features to revamp the android phone interface. The company planned to release about six beta versions before its official release for the android users. Currently, the fifth beta version is under testing and available to the developers. Out of multiple features which are previewed in the Google I/O on May 2019, the new gesture feature which will take away the ‘hamburger’ button sparked the controversy. Here, in this article, we are exploring Android 10 and accessing will the gesture navigation work for android users.

Some of the major changes in the Android 10 are divided into three categories which are further subdivided into features.

  1. Behaviour Changes

The System will change and it will affect the particular app running on the Android 10 devices.

  1. Privacy Features

It is always crucial for the Google Android OS developer team to enhance privacy features. The all-new Android 10 version of the Google OS will bring new safeguard features which protect the user privacy related to the app.

  1. An application programming interface (or APIs)

In the Android 10 update, the APIs will easily adaptive to the foldable, connectivity, media biometrics and many more.

With above listed Android 10 touted modification, there are five features which are seen on the beta version of the Android 10 devices.

  1. QR Codes & Wi-Fi Connectivity

Android 10 version update provides a new feature which makes it easy for you to share the Wi-Fi network password. In the previous version, one has to provide their password which creates an awkward situation. Now, you can share it by just showing the QR code on the screen and ask your friend to scan it. This feature is integrated into the device Wi-Fi settings under a particular network setting.

Android 10

Steps to use this feature-:
  1. Go to Wi-Fi Settings
  2. Select the Wi-Fi network you are connected
  3. Tap on the share button with QR core icon
  4. Now, let your friend scan the QR code

This integration of Google in sharing the password in a more innovative way aiming for providing a seamless experience to the user.

  1. Undo Option’ App Removal

The uninstall app is pretty common on the digital devices but Android 10 added an additional feature in it. Now, you can undo the uninstalled app from the android phone. Although, the feature doesn’t make much sense as the option to undo the uninstall stands for a few seconds. Additionally, when downloading an app is easy for the user, this feature seems to be nothing more than an additional add-on in new offerings.

Android 10

Steps of this feature-:

  1. First, uninstall the app by dragging to the bin icon
  2. As the app removed, the item removed label will be on display
  3. This label tag comes along with the ‘undo’ option
  4. Tap ‘undo’ and the app will back on screen.

The benefit of this feature is still in question but this can be treated as one of the handy options in the Android 10 version.

  1. Control on Location Settings

Under the new location settings, Android 10 providing a customizable option for additional control on app tracing the user location. In the earlier version of the android version, you have two options in which it can be set location accessible all the time. While, if you do not want to share the location. It can be disabled or switched off. Google already promised their work on privacy settings in the Android 10 and brought the option of location access with the active app.

Android 10

Steps of this features-:

  1. Tap on the setting wheel option
  2. Tap on the privacy label
  3. Here, you can access the location settings

Android 10’s phone setting has independent privacy tap under which various permissions can be controlled including contacts, camera, calendar and microphone. This option will also save the battery life as the location access target the GPS which consume battery juice.

  1. Modified Notification Controls

With Android 10, Google brings new options under the notification control setting of the phone. Especially in the silent option, in which you can have two option of Alert & Silent. If you select the alert, the app will send a single alert with every app notification. While in the silent mode, it will remain silent or vibrate as pre-set by you.

Android 10

This option will save the time of you in setting alert or silent selection from settings. Now, you can set it on the notification drawer of the android phone.

  1. Video Play with Live caption

In order to make an Android device more user-friendly, the google brought the option of the live caption play on the videos. It will make media content more accessible and friendly as it will work without data-connection.

Android 10

However, this feature is still not seen on the Android 10 beta 5 version but if google able to bring it onto the device. It will transform the way you interact with media play on different social platforms.

Gesture Navigation Mode in Android 10

Apart from the above-listed features of the Android 10 version, Google is coming up with the biggest change on the Android OS platform. The google mentioned about the introduction of the new gesture navigation method. As the demand for larger screen size from the user is increasing and it still the device should comfortably sit on the user’s palm. Google is going on the Apple road of completing removing the lower three button style with gesture integration into the Android 10 operating system.

What’s in Android 10 Navigation mode

Earlier, you are familiar with the 3 button style which sits at the bottom of the device. Then, there is an option of setting of three buttons on the display itself but technically it still reduces the display size. The all-new Android 10 navigation mode will consist of three major swipe.

  1. For navigating back (right or left swipe from the edges)
  2. To homes screen ( Swipe up from the middle)
  3. Open Device Assistant ( Swipe from the corners in the bottom)

The Google gesture model wants to provide an immersive experience to the user with more app screen space. The concept will push for the edge-to-edge display experience to the mobile user. Google explained in the I/O about the tradeoffs with this gesture model.  The requirement of the balanced interaction with the screen remained challenging for the developers and OEM ecosystem to the service the users.

But Why Gestures?

An approach to the gesture isn’t new for the google or even the android users of earlier versions. The gesture is been around since 2009 and you are well-aware with them by pattern locks. Today, it has been seen that the majority of Android user-preferred pattern than the password or pin-based security feature. The gesture capability was also introduced by android apps developers or partners. Additionally, gesture introduction into the early Samsung Flagship galaxy series including Air gesture was a premium feature for the users. However, the feature was dropped into the future models which highlight that adaptability to it isn’t easy for the user.

Although, Google mentioned about the three user benefits with the Gesture navigation model:

  1. Gesture Navigation model can be natural, ergonomic and faster than the 3 button approach used to navigate your smartphone.
  2. The gesture will reduce the system navigation option over the app content, it will give more immersive user experience and bezel-less feel to the user.
  3. The gesture Navigation feature is more familiar than 3-software button while holding the smartphone.

Major Trade-offs for  Android smartphone users

  1. Gesture Navigation model take adjustment and noted to be harder while learning for the users.
  2. The gesture is hard to adapt to each and every user.
  3. Gesture Navigation can interrupt the app’s navigation which is integrated within the app.

Google reportedly clears that it will not a force adaption to the Gesture Navigation model while it will more like an option. In the last 2-3 years, Google is working with major smartphone manufacturers likes Samsung, LG, Motorola, OnePlus, Oppo and many others to get feedback on gesture navigations for testing and collecting feedback on it. Meanwhile, Google confirmed that the gesture navigation model will be pre-set on the upcoming Android 10 version based android smartphones.

Research & Development behind ‘Android 10’ gesture navigation

Google pointed out their research efforts in the gesture navigation project with an understanding of user’s behaviour in handling phones. The backend research includes testing on prototype about the adaptability, desirability and speed of responsiveness. It is also tested the user capability to learn the gesture system and multiple responses are considered for developing the user-friendly gesture navigation model. Although, the most challenging part for Google is to replace the back button in the Android phones. The back button is recorded to be used more than 50% times than the home button. It is appreciated by Android devices user and comes handy while interacting with the device. If Google wants to replace the back button, it should be intuitive, ergonomically correct and easily dependable while using in daily live interaction.

Comparison : 3 button navigation Vs Gesture-based navigation model

For this Google developed a reachability chart which aims to design the core gestures for the navigation. The reachability chart will record the left and right thumb reach impression where they are comfortable and reachable.

Android 10

The three areas on which the research conducted compares the 3-button and Android 10 beta gesture navigation.

First, the comparison is done on the basis of user-rating for one-handed and ergonomics in which higher rating is better. In terms of Ergonomic rating, 3-button achieved 5.78 and 5.56 in one-handed use rating. While the Android 10 Beta achieved 5.39 in the Ergonomic rating and 5.8 in the one-handed use rating.

Android 10

Second, the comparison was conducted to record the time taken for completing the home/back tasks in the 3 button navigation and gesture navigation tested on Android 10 beta. The 3- button took 12.1 seconds in the home task while 10.5 in the back task time. Meanwhile, the gesture navigation took 8.9 seconds in the home task and 7.8 in the back task time. Here, the lower is better which indicates that the gesture navigation model is better than 3 –button.

Android 10

Third, the last comparison was conducted on the overview task time by the 3-button navigation and Android 10 beta gestures model. The lower score is better in this comparison. The 3-button scores the 18.3 seconds while the Android 10 gesture navigation model scores 18.6.

Android 10

With the above comparison in three different modes, the 3 buttons are found to be better comparatively. Although, the gesture navigation model is nearer to it in all the modes. In the qualitative aspect, Android 10 will be more reachable and one-handed while the 3-button achieved more ergonomics for android users.


The Android 10 is bringing significant improvement than its previous version. The major change highlighted is the gesture-based navigation model. It will also be the default navigation integrated in future android devices. Apart from this, there are modification under the privacy settings, live video caption and undo option in app removal. With the previous five beta version, the Android 10 disclose new features and it is certainly ready to be on the floor. Google developers are well aware of the fact that it will not be easy for the user to adapt to the Android 10 gesture navigation. However, as the screen size of the phone is getting bigger and user demand for a more immersive experience with bezel display. The gesture-based navigation is providing just the same service to the android user and will become a groundbreaking change in the path of user-interaction with their android devices.

Now, it’s your time to share your views in the comment section about the new Android 10 OS update features. Additionally, tell us whether you liked the gesture navigation based control for the Android devices.

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