[Update: Removed from Release] Pixel Launcher in unreleased Android Q beta adds a swipe to pull down notifications gesture
In Android Q, the new gesture navigations will only work with pre-installed system launchers like Google’s Pixel Launcher. For those of you who are fans of third-party launchers like Nova Launcher, Lawnchair, Action Launcher, or Hyperion, you may be disappointed to hear that Android’s awesome new gesture controls won’t work with your favorite launcher. Google’s stock launcher is well-designed, but it lacks a lot of the features that power users are accustomed to. We’ve now learned that one such feature, the ability to swipe down anywhere to pull down the notification panel, will be added to the stock Pixel Launcher in a future Android Q beta.
When we obtained the early Android Q build back in January, I discovered that the AOSP Launcher allowed you to pull down the notifications by swiping anywhere on the home screen. This was thanks to new methods added to SystemUI to allow the notification pull-down gesture to track smoothly with your finger swiping up and down. LineageOS went ahead and merged a reverse engineered version of this feature into LineageOS 16, so it was only a matter of time for this feature to make its way over to an official Android Q beta. Thanks to our tipster, we can confirm that the gesture works on the Pixel Launcher build found in a prerelease Android Q beta build.
It may be possible for third-party launchers to add their own implementation of this feature, but we’ll have to wait for the Android Q source code to drop so we can see how it’s being implemented. As I mentioned before, the benefit of this new implementation is that it’s much smoother since it tracks the pull down with your finger.
This article was updated at 4:50PM EST on 7/10/19 to reflect that we examined a leaked build of Android Q beta, which isn’t the same as Android Q beta 5.
Update 1: Removed from Stable
XDA Recognized Developer luca020400 tipped us off about a commit submitted to AOSP that disabled the swipe down gesture to bring down the notification shade. For whatever reason, Google decided to remove this gesture from release.