Android Q’s Gestures Won’t Play Nicely With 3rd Party Launchers for a While (Updated)

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We’re only another beta away from Android Q being stable and I’m not sure that Google has fully decided what its gesture navigation should look like. Google is still adding or tweaking the way it works, like how they just added a new bottom corner swipe that gets you into Google Assistant in the latest Android Q Beta 5 that just dropped.

But that’s not their only gestural problem. 3rd party launchers (like Nova Launcher), after having issues for 4 straight Q betas, still will not work properly with Android Q’s new gestures. In a blog post discussing additional changes to gestures in Q Beta 5, Google says that they are “continuing to work on issues” related to 3rd party launchers and that they plan to force 3rd party launcher users off of gestures in Q Beta 6 rather than offer a fix.

So not only will the new gestures act as a buggy mess in this new Android Q Beta 5 with 3rd party launchers (or not work at all?), but Google is going to turn them off in the next beta that has not yet released. Additionally, once Android Q is launched, 3rd party launchers still won’t work with gestures. Google is planning a “post-launch update” to allow users to switch out of 3-button navigation.

  • UPDATE: I’m running the Q Beta 5 on my Pixel 3 XL now and tossed on Nova Launcher to see what happens. It did flip me over to the 3-button setup, but that hardly works. The app switcher button is broken and doesn’t do anything. Additionally, when I tried to switch back to the Pixel Launcher, the gesture navigation no longer worked either and I had to uninstall Nova to get things back to work properly. It’s probably best to avoid 3rd party launchers at all costs.

Gestures, what a future.

NOTE: Tweaked title for clarity and added some notes on a post-launch update to allow gesture support.



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