Considering how Google’s new gestures pile up from the iPhone X
Android P brings a whole bunch of new updates to Google’s operating system, and one of the greatest is the brand new, gesture-based interface program. A system that most (including us) have noticed is pretty similar on the surface to the one that Apple introduced on the iPhone X last year. Which naturally begs the question: who’s doing gestures?
(Before we start: yes, I am well aware that companies like Palm have experienced extremely similar systems like this first, but unless you’re still using a Pre, that’s not super relevant to this conversation.)
“Google isn’t willing to commit fully to the gesture system”
Having tried out the 2 systems, there’s a lot of good thoughts in Android’s iteration of this purpose, but as others have noted (like David Ruddock in Android Police), Google just isn’t willing to commit fully to the gesture system, leaving P stuck somewhere between Google’s old applications buttons and something more fully developed like the iPhone X.
The good: Google has done a fantastic job making the gestures fluid and responsive, and the horizontally scrolling multitasking menu is great (I had been personally never a fan of the old, vertically scrolling port.) The animations can also be great, adding a great sense of movement to the OS without slowing things down, although it’s possible less potent Android phones could have an issue. Along with the recently added permanent search bar and access to the program drawer from any place in the OS are crucial developments which I don’t understand how we went so long.
But the problem is that unlike Apple, Google is attempting to have its cake and eat it too — sure, the gestures are all there, but for key things like the house button and back button, it’s sticking with regular outdated tappable buttons. Adding to the confusion is the fact that the button is now contextual, only appearing in some specific situations where you’re able to use it.
But the greatest sin of the Android P gestures is that because Google is sticking with its halfway mindset, the gestures do not really save any UI distance, because Android still reserves the exact same bottom chunk of the screen for the virtual buttons.
“App switching is far more seamless on the iPhone X“