Android Q beta 5 to introduce new Assistant gesture hint and animation
Android Q brings a score of visual and functional improvements over Android Pie and out of these, the new iPhone-style navigation gestures arguably the most contentious. The new navigation gestures arrived in Android Q Beta 3 in May (our Editor-in-Chief Mishaal Rahman discovered WIP two months ahead of the official launch) along with a new back gesture, which works by swiping inwards from either the left or the right edge of the smartphone. The gestures were improved noticeably in the Android Q Beta 4 over the third beta. With the thinner and repurposed navigation bar, the trigger for the Google Assistant also changed and after reasonable inquisition, we learned that one of the ways to hail the Assistant is by swiping from one of the lower corners of the display towards the center of the screen. With the Android Q Beta 5, which is set to arrive soon, we may see improvements in this gesture.
This Assistant gesture is definitely intentional: https://t.co/wcDZMTlpf3
Swipe from the corner @ >= 30° angle and hold minimum 200ms.
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) May 18, 2019
Reddit user u/Charizarlslie has shared some insights into the improvements to the navigation gestures that the next Android Q Beta brings. Claiming that they are part of one of the U.S.-based carriers’ soak tests for the fifth beta, the user shared some visual cues about the improved Google Assistant trigger. To make the gesture more visible, the interface now has two curved cues along the corners.
In the video above, these prompts expand and contract so as to grab your attention. We’ve seen OnePlus and Huawei offering the corner swipe gesture for Google Assistant to complement the swipe navigation gestures on OxygenOS and EMUI, respectively, but neither OEM has been thoughtful enough to make them visible. Instead, the focus has been on using the power button to trigger the Assistant.
Apart from these new hints to summon Google Assistant, there is now a new animation along the bottom of the display with colored veins along with bottom edge, starting at both the corners and meeting at the center point of the display.
Back sensitivity option appears in Android Q beta 5
There has been some discomfort for beta testers as the back gestures interfere with the hamburger menus aka navigation drawer in several apps which are accessed by swiping rightward from the left edge of the display. Google plans to remedy this by making it a two-step process, including a “peek” onto the navigation drawer and then swipe to open it. But, besides the navigation drawer, Google is taking other elements like sliders or those which have swipe gestures (like the Archive or Snooze gesture in Google Messages or Gmail) into account.
Perhaps to make sure that these elements don’t interfere with the new back gesture, we should be seeing an option to change the sensitivity of the back swipe. This feature also appeared in the unreleased Android Q beta 5 which was leaked recently.
Rotate button fixed
While the rotate button in Android Q beta 4 was overlapping with the navigation bar, it now appears to be bigger and shifted slightly upwards. This may be a mere aesthetic fix but it will surely make the button more visible.
Beta 5 arriving soon
In the meantime, we can hope Google released the next version of Android Q beta soon because we can’t wait to try these features out. Google did not share the timeline for the Android Q Beta 5 and the Beta 6 so, we don’t have a particular date to look forward to, but we’re on the ball constantly to be able to explore the next beta update.