Navigation Gestures updated with better Nav Bar hiding, App Launch action, Android P compatibility, & more
We launched our Navigation Gestures app a little over 3 weeks ago, and since our last update, we’ve been hard at work to address the overwhelming amount of feedback we’ve received. Our app, which was originally designed to be a simple gesture control app based on the Apple iPhone X’s gestures, has since gained a lot of customization features. We’re not stopping there, either, as a future update will allow users to create gesture navigation controls in the vein of the OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 6. If you’re tired of all the screen real-estate that your boring software navigation buttons take up, then you should give our latest app update a try. It’s totally free for all of the basic actions and settings!
We would like to thank all of our supporters who purchased the premium version of the application. Your support helps us continue development on the app. This second major update adds two new features exclusively for premium users. Now that our latest update is available, we can dedicate more time to implementing features for the premium version of the app.
The update is rolling out to users on the Play Store now. If you would rather not wait for the update to arrive, you can download the APK here.
Navigation Gestures v1.2.0 Changelog
The changelog is massive, so I’m going to split up the changes into sections to keep things organized.
Android P Compatibility
Last week, Google rolled out Android P Beta 2 (Developer Preview 3) for the Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL, Google Pixel 2, and Google Pixel 2 XL. The Essential Phone and Sony Xperia XZ2 have also received this update. For whatever reason, Google made changes to the latest Android P beta that now allow the Navigation Gestures app to work. We did absolutely nothing to make this happen. We are skeptical that this will remain the case when Android P Beta 3/Developer Preview 4 rolls around, so enjoy it on your Android P device for now. We are still holding onto our workaround if Google reverses the changes they made to make our app work on Android P.
New Premium Features
- Keyboard switch action to launch keyboard switcher dialog
- Launch app action to launch a selected app*
*If you notice that an app is “slow” to launch after using the pill to trigger the home button, that’s because of an obscure change made all the way back in Android 4.4 KitKat. Unless you have this Xposed Module or a custom ROM installed with the patch, there’s no way around it.
- Added manual entry boxes for all sliders.
- Appearance sliders for pill corner radius, width, height, X position, and Y position can now be set to change by percentage rather than px/dp. Setting it to percentage means the pill will scale in landscape mode.
- Increased maximum Y position from 70dp to 130dp
- Hopefully finally fixes the problem where the navigation bar stills show in fullscreen apps like YouTube. This should also fix any screen “flickering” that you guys have reported where the nav bar jumps up and down.
- Separated the navigation bar hiding function from the pill function. This means hiding the nav bar is now OPT-IN. You can skip granting the WRITE_SECURE_SETTINGS permission at startup and grant it later if you try to toggle the hide nav bar function. This should help fix those cases where the app thinks the device has a nav bar (and thus forced them to go through that setup) when they didn’t. Since we separated this function, there are now 2 Quick Setting tiles – one for toggling the pill and one for toggling the software nav bar.
- Added “larger hitbox” to Settings –> Compatibility and enabled it by default. This increases the hitbox of the pill from 4dp above to 12dp above, making it easier to hit.
- If a “swipe and hold” action isn’t set, it defaults to the “swipe” action in that direction. Eg. if “swipe up and hold” is unset and you swipe up and hold, the regular swipe up action will occur.
- Decrease minimum swipe and hold time from 200ms to 100ms.
- Changed priority of persistent notification on Android Oreo from Min to Low. This should hopefully stop the “app is running in the background” notification.
- Sensitivity and animations, in general, should be greatly improved.
- Option to keep the pill enabled when in car mode (Android Auto)
- Added “Keep Original NavBar in Fullscreen” option in Settings –> Compatibility if you want the navigation bar to still be accessible with a swipe from the side
- Fixed bug where volume dialog box stays on screen for 20 seconds
- Massive clean-up of preferences to make it more organized and prettier.
- Hopefully fixed the issue where the premium version wasn’t being detected. (Usually, a reboot on the user’s side fixed this.)
List of Features for Navigation Gestures
For those of you who want to get into this app but are only just now hearing about it, here’s a feature list that accounts for the most recent update (expand the button):
Navigation Gestures Feature List
- Single tap
- Double tap
- Tap and hold (long press)
- Swipe up and hold
- Swipe left
- Swipe left and hold
- Swipe right
- Swipe right and hold
- Swipe up
- Swipe down
- Recent apps
- Toggle split-screen (requires Android Nougat+)
- Open previous app (requires Android Nougat+)
- Open Assistant
- Hide pill
- Pull down the notification shade
- Pull down quick setting tiles
- Open power menu
- Skip to previous media track*
- Skip to next media track*
- Play/pause current media track*
- Switch keyboard dialog
- Launch app**
* Media actions are not guaranteed to work with every app. Media actions use standard Android APIs to work with most apps.
**If you notice that an app is “slow” to launch after using the pill to trigger the home button, that’s because of an obscure change made all the way back in Android 4.4 KitKat. Unless you have this Xposed Module or a custom ROM installed with the patch, there’s no way around it.
Appearance (all free)
- Toggle pill shadow
- Customize pill color
- Customize pill transparency
- Customize pill border color
- Customize pill corner radius
- Customize pill width/height
- Customize pill vertical/horizontal position
Behavior (all free)
- Hide in fullscreen apps
- Don’t move pill above keyboard
- Keep pill enabled in car mode (Android Auto)
- Customize swipe and hold time
- Customize vibration duration
- Customize animation duration
Compatibility (all free)
- Hide original navigation bar in landscape
- Tablet mode fixes
- Larger hitbox
- Keep original navigation bar in fullscreen apps
Frequently Asked Questions for Navigation Gestures
Please expand the button below to see our answers to a list of frequently asked questions.
Navigation Gestures FAQ
- Help, I uninstalled the app and I can’t access my navigation bar anymore!
- Please connect to your computer and run the following command:
adb shell wm overscan reset
- Please connect to your computer and run the following command:
- There’s a “white line” at the bottom of the screen!
- This is NOT a bug. This is a side-effect of a change we intentionally made after version 1.0.0 because without it, many Samsung, Motorola, and Xiaomi devices were reporting major bugs (eg. black screen after unlocking which made the phone unusable.) The “white line” is caused by the navigation bar being hidden 99.99% but not 100% (ie. we hiding the navigation bar entirely except for 1 pixel.) So the “white line” is actually just your navigation bar that’s colored white. It’s noticed mostly by Samsung owners because Samsung aggressively colors the nav bar white. We are coloring in the nav bar to hide this white line.
- Uninstalling the app doesn’t bring back my stock navigation bar!
- Do not uninstall the app unless you first disable the pill in the app. There is no way for our app to detect when it is being uninstalled, so we can’t revert the changes it makes if you uninstall it. Please first disable the pill and then uninstall it like normal.
- Pill doesn’t work with screen pinning.
- We have no way of simulating a long press on the back button without root. A tentative solution we are looking into is detecting when the phone enters a pinned screen state and disabling the pill to bring back the stock nav bar.
- The app hides the dock in Samsung DeX.
- Apparently, the dock in DeX is seen as a navigation bar. We’ll see if we can detect DeX and just disable the app when that happens.
- Can we add a feature where the pill is in its own separate area so it doesn’t overlap with certain UI elements?
- Very likely no, sorry. We are already pushing the screen content down to hide the nav bar. Adding this feature would require us to push the screen content up as well. We can’t have it both ways. However, we will soon be adding off-screen, OnePlus-style gestures where you swipe up from the bottom of the screen. With that, you won’t have to worry about UI element overlap!
- Can we hide the pill when on the launcher?
- Yes, a future release will allow for hiding the pill when you are on your home screen.
- Can we lock the screen?
- There are 4 ways we know of to do this, and none of them are ideal. There isn’t a simple “lock screen” API (well, not until Android P) that we can use that doesn’t have its own share of problems. Nova Launcher‘s approach is probably the best solution, though, so we’ll likely just do what they do. It’s planned, though!
- Can we take a screenshot?
- Pre-Android P, the only way to do this is with the MediaProjection API (the one that lets you do screen recordings.) It’s very performance intensive but possible to do.
- Can we add special root actions?
- Yes, we will add them back in a future release.
Join our Navigation Gestures Beta Testing Group
List of devices tested with Navigation Gestures v1.2.0
We test each release before pushing it to the Google Play Store, but even with a beta testing group, it’s still hard to find every new bug in an app.
Feedback and Support for Navigation Gestures
Feedback is very important to us. While we are blessed to have access to a large team that owns a wide variety of devices from several different device manufacturers, it’s difficult for us to ensure a bug-free experience on every device. If you are having trouble with our app, don’t hesitate to email us or post in the official XDA support thread.
We plan on adding additional features in coming releases to give users more options for swipe gestures and actions. We hope to provide an experience that can replace the navigation bar on your device. If you feel that we should add a feature or two to make that happen, then please reach out to us with your ideas!