XDA Exclusive: Android Q looks to kill back button, go all in on gestures

This will be a hard pill to swallow for some Android fans, but if you’ve been using a Google Pixel phone for the past while, you might just be able to take it better. And for completely new users, it’s all something to get used to anyways.

Our partners at XDA-Developers have found in a late compile of a pre-release Android Q build that Google will be going full steam ahead with its gesture-based “pill” navigation paradigm and getting rid of the back button.

It had already deprecated the multi-tasking button last year with Android 9 Pie: users had to swipe and hold the center-placed pill to the right to access the apps pane, but kept the back button to the left of the pill. It may now be the case that Android 10 Q will have the back function activated with a left-swipe of the pill, thus obviating the need for a software button.

Here’s a list of pill commands that may take hold:

  • Tap: Go home
  • Long press: Launch Google Assistant
  • Swipe up: Open recent apps page
  • Swipe up and hold: App drawer
  • Swipe right: Open previous app
  • Swipe right and hold: Scroll through recent apps
  • Slide pill to the left: Go back

Keep in mind that this feature as with many others we’ve been revealing have yet to be finalized. We haven’t even gone into official developer previews yet. As such, this feature may or may not be carried into the final version of Android Q. They may also not be activated by device manufacturers who opt to take up this software version.

Stay tuned for more Android 10 feature dives from XDA and click the source link below this story to seek more details.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.