Google's transition from Android's traditional three-button navigation to the switch to gestures on Pixel 3 was a bit rough. Google seems to be figuring things out and improving Pixel's gestures for Android Q, but other companies have already come up with better approaches. Motorola has probably nailed it the best so far.
The "one-button navigation" introduced with the Moto Z3 Play is also available on many of the company's phones released since, including the new Moto G7, G7 Power and G7 Play. You may not think there is a good reason to make the move to gestures; it does not necessarily add to the experience of using your device or make anything easier. But at least in Motorola's case, it makes sense, is easy to remember, and is consistent .
Here's how to give Moto's gestures to try:
- First, allow one-button navigation from the Moto app
Out of the box, the Motorola G7 and Motorola's other recent phones come with the usual three virtual buttons. Use gesture navigation instead, just open the Moto app that comes pre-installed on your phone and toggle on one-button navigation. Once you do, you will be guided through a quick tutorial of all the swipe actions and what they do.
- This is surely the easiest thing to go home. The navigation bar is where the home icon would normally appear, so it makes sense that tapping it once does exactly what the home icon would do.
This is a subtle touch I really like. If you want to get to the app drawer and skip the Android 9 Pie's multitasking menu, just swipe up from anywhere on the home screen that does not the virtual bar. It's a much easier gesture than having to swipe farther up for the drawer, which is what you've got to do on a Pixel.
- Do a short swipe from the virtual bar to enter multitasking.
If you want a preview of apps you've recently opened, just swipe up and you'll be taken to the Android 9 Pie app switch. Remember that text can be copied and pasted between these multitasking preview windows.
- Swipe right to alternate between your two most recently used apps.
If you are in a situation where you are often switching between two apps, you do not have to open the full multitasking view to hop between them.
Android's back button can be a little inconsistent and unpredictable in terms of what it will do at times, but if you use it it often, you can do that by swiping left on the one-button navigation bar.
Last, if you want to ask Google something with your voice or give Google Assistant a command, you can get there just by holding down the navigation bar.
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