Google won’t force phone manufacturers to use Android Q’s new navigation gestures

The third Android Q developer preview just dropped, and many people including our team are flocking to test out what is new. One of the most exciting and talked about changes in the new preview is the new navigation gestures.


Though Google seems to be all-in on gestures in Android Q, what is going to happen to third-party OEM gestures? Companies like Motorola and OnePlus have developed their own gesture systems — do those seem to be going away?

Project Manager for Android System UI at Google, Allen Huang, said that while Google is strongly encouraging OEMs to follow the new default Android navigation gestures. That said, it won’t explicitly force them to abandon their own.

Huang stated, “We see custom OEM gestures as a power user option and Gesture navigation is a big challenge for developers. They have to decide which of their gestures are going to be back?”

He added that he wants the Android experience to be more ubiquitous among consumers. He said that by offering a variety of navigation options, OEMs make it very hard for consumers to understand how to navigate the system.

Huang said that people navigate back over 150 times per day and they want to make this simple to learn and understand.

When questioned about his opinion on removing third-party gestures altogether, Huang stated that Google will never disallow third-party gestures, but instead sees them as a power user option. He thinks OEMs should have the technical ability to set their own if they like, and Google will not force them to stop.