Android Q beta 5 changes the gesture behavior for navigation drawers

Android Q beta 5 changes the gesture behavior for navigation drawers

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We’re getting closer to the final release of Android Q. Like every new version of Android, there have been a couple of controversial changes. One of these changes is the full gesture navigation, which is thankfully optional so you can opt out at any time. One aspect of the new gesture controls has left many users and developers confused. Besides changing the navigation bar behavior, Google also added a new gesture that lets you go back by swiping inward from either side of the display. That conflicted with the navigation drawers in many applications, so Google recommended app developers block inward swipes if they continue to use navigation drawers in their apps. Today, a developer from the Android team at Google posted that a new solution is on the way.

According to Android Developer Relations member Chris Banes, Google is changing the behavior of the back navigation gesture in the upcoming fifth beta of Android Q. You will be able to open the navigation drawer by “peeking” near the drawer. Basically, to open the drawer you tap the edge of the display and hold briefly until it sort of “pops” out. Then you can continue dragging it open. Huawei has been using a similar approach on devices with the EMUI system for quite some time. Thanks to this change, you won’t have to do a weird diagonal swipe from the side of the screen as some users have recommended. Tapping on the hamburger menu button may be preferable for some, but it is very difficult to stretch your finger that far on larger devices.

Another change is how apps can block the side gesture. Previously, developers could block the entire sides if they wanted. Now, apps will only be able to opt out of 200dp from the edges. For apps that request to opt out of more, only the bottom 200 dp will be overridden.

The changes will extend to all versions of the DrawerLayout API, but Google suggests developers update to 1.1.0-alpha02 for the best experience on Android Q devices. This API will most likely be finalized and move to the stable channel alongside the final release of the system. Android Q Beta 5 is set to be released in the coming weeks. We’ve at least known the approximate release dates for the last 4 beta builds, but Google doesn’t disclose an ETA for Beta 5, 6, and the final release of Android Q.