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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Google yesterday introduced the newest version of Android, Android P, at its Google I/O developer conference held in Mountain View, California. Android P includes a few enticing features like a new Dashboard for monitoring usage and an adaptive battery feature for improving battery life, but what was of interest to iPhone users was the new gesture system.

Android P adopts a new gesture-based system interface that's reminiscent of the interface of the iPhone X, so we decided to download the Android P beta to check it out for ourselves.

For years, Android has used a navigation system that focuses on three buttons: home, back, and multitasking. That's gone in Android P, having been replaced with a small oblong button at the bottom of the display that will be familiar to iPhone X users.

Swiping up on the button brings up a card-like interface with an app overview that includes a search bar, your recently used apps, and five predicted apps, while a longer swipe (or a second swipe) brings up the All Apps screen where you can access all of the apps installed on an Android device.

As on the iPhone X, you can use the swipe up gesture from anywhere in the Android operating system, regardless of which app is being used, while a tap goes to the Home screen. A left or right swipe, meanwhile, initiates a "Quick Scrub" gesture that lets you swap between your recently used apps.

The iPhone X's gesture system is intuitive and easy to use, so it's no surprise that Google opted to introduce a similar design, and it's the natural evolution for controlling a smartphone without traditional buttons.

In addition to adopting a swipe-based interface, Android P has some other neat features, a few of which we may see in some form in iOS 12. A new Android Dashboard, for example, is designed to tell you how much time you're spending on your device and in apps in the name of digital health, something that Apple is also expected to focus on this year.

A new Do Not Disturb feature called "Shush" automatically silences Android devices when placed facedown, while a Wind Down option lets Android users set a specific bed time that enables Do Not Disturb and turns the entire phone's interface gray to discourage further use at night.

Google is also introducing a new Adaptive Battery feature that maximizes battery power by prioritizing the apps you're most likely to use next, while a new Auto Brightness feature modifies screen brightness based on your own personal preferences. Some of these features haven't been enabled just yet on all Android devices that are eligible for the beta, but they should be coming soon.

What do you think of the new Android P operating system? Are there features here you would like to see Apple enable in iOS? Let us know in the comments.

Article Link: Hands-On With Android P's New Swipe-Based Gesture System


macrumors 68040
May 28, 2015
Amsterdam, Netherlands
I can't wait to not get it on my Galaxy S7 before 2020 :/ Android remains superior to iOS with the small exception of having to wait ages until it's actually available for non-Pixel phones.


Oct 3, 2017
Basshead in ATL
File browser makes the biggest difference. I have no idea how people organize their photos on iOS.
That as well as no dedicated area for a back button. It's up to developers on where or if they even want to include a back button in each app. Google's keynote was beyond impressive this year, and many have said they are more interesting than apples own keynotes.


macrumors 6502
Oct 6, 2015
Definitely my next phone will be pixel or one with clean Android, I’m happy with S8 but I would love to have the swipe gestures.


macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2012
Hmmm, seems like they took lots of iOS features but really improved them, nice job. Love how the swiping between apps work.


Oct 3, 2017
Basshead in ATL
Why are there so many people here who think Apple came up with this? Has anyone used blackberry 10, webOS from like ten years ago, Google now from years ago, Nova, etc? For those that never leave the basement, try getting out a bit, and taking off the blinders. Apple is not really known for innovating, but more for copying a feature and streamlining it to their hardware.


macrumors 6502a
Mar 4, 2018
I like how at first a lot of haters (especially android fans) of the iOS UI gestures are now OK with it and magically learned to like it.

Too bad will be a long time for most android users to get to enjoy the new UI except Pixel 2 owners that X owners have enjoyed for the past 6 months.
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