Samsung’s One UI 2.5 update will enable Google’s gesture navigation in third-party launchers
After facing perpetual criticism for its sluggish TouchWiz UI, Samsung made the long-overdue update to its user interface in late 2018 with One UI. Samsung’s One UI based on Android 9 Pie was designed to ease single-handed usage. But, one of the key features to support one-hand usage was omitted by Samsung and that was support for navigation gestures. To be fair, Samsung did not fully ignore gestures but instead used a very puerile version in which users had to swipe upwards from the bottom of the display instead of tapping on the navigation buttons to engage them. One UI v2.0 is now rolling out to several devices and in it, Samsung has added support for Android 10’s navigation gestures but without third-party launchers support. Fortunately for users, the support is expected to come in the next few months with One UI 2.5.
As per a product manager for Samsung’s HomeScreen, gesture navigation on Samsung devices will start supporting third-party launchers like Nova Launcher, Lawnchair, etc. with the One UI 2.5 update. One UI 2.1 based on Android 10 is already rolling out to certain devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S10, Note 10, Galaxy S9 and Note 9 series. We can expect One UI 2.5 to be also based on Android 10 and introduced with the Galaxy Note 20 series, which should launch in August 2020 – unless the product’s development is slowed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is a bit of guessing, but I know there will be more than one Note20. Let’s call it Note20 1 and Note20 2.
I think the Note20 2 will have the Snapdragon 865 while the Note20 1 might be a different chip.
— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) March 14, 2020
Google mandates every smartphone manufacturer to include gesture navigation support on every device that runs on Android 10. It has also laid down specifications regarding the dimensions of active trigger zones for gestures on the phones’ screens in Android 10’s Compatibility Definition Document (CDD), an agreement that every Android licensee must acknowledge and agree to. In Samsung’s implementation of the navigation gestures, you can fine-tune the back gesture’s sensitivity as well as enable or disable the gesture over a virtual keyboard.
The lack of third-party launcher support for Google’s navigation gestures was an issue with every Android 10 device, including the Google Pixel lineup prior to the Pixel 4’s launch. Do note that while we expect One UI 2.5 will arrive with the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series, we do not have the exact launch schedule for Note 20 or other devices yet.
Source: Samsung Community