What are your thoughts on gestures replacing the navigation bar?

What are your thoughts on gestures replacing the navigation bar?

In movies and TV shows, futuristic devices are often depicted as bezel-less screens with no buttons. The current trend in Android smartphone design is headed in this direction. Some trade-offs have been made (display notches), but for the most part, we’re getting close to that dream. Slimming the bezels and is only one part of the equation. The even more important component is figuring out how to use gestures to navigate without buttons.

We’re already seeing manufacturers integrate gestures. The iPhone X is probably the most well-known example. OnePlus allows users to hide the navbar and use only gestures. A recent leak from Android P shows that Google also has their own approach. All three use slightly different techniques to navigate. Which system do you think is better?

iPhone X – Swipe up to go home, swipe up and pause for multitasking, swipe left or right to switch between recent apps.

OnePlus – Swipe up from center to go home, swipe up from left to go back, swipe up from center and hold for multitasking.

Android P (rumored) – Tap the pill-shape button to go home, swipe up for multitasking, swipe left or right to switch between recent apps, tap the Back button for back.

Three different approaches to how gestures should work. Apple and OnePlus rely solely on swipes, while Google still basically has the regular virtual home button. Personally, I feel if you’re going to use gestures you might as well go all in. I prefer Apple and OnePlus’ implementation.

How do you feel about gestures replacing the traditional navigation bar? Which implementation do you prefer? Would you consider purchasing a phone that only uses gestures? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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