Google wants to make it harder for Android OEMs to show off their own navigation systems on Android. In new GMS (Google Mobile Services) agreements, the firm now stipulates that OEMs may highlight only the classic three-button navigation system and the full-screen navigation gestures that debuted with Android 10 if they’d like their devices to be certified. Aside from that, the OEM may not showcase any new gestures out of the box or even hint at them with pop-ups.
Instead, they’ll have to hide them in an ‘Advanced’ settings menu or something similar. Placing them one level below the ‘regular’ navigation options for only the most curious users to stumble upon. While Google now has gestures of its own, OEMs like Huawei, Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi etc often presented gestural systems which worked better than what Google offered. Now that the firm is confident in its gestures, it wants to standardise them across all devices running Android.
Despite that, Google’s Android gestures still have issues. For instance, the back gestures conflict with the hamburger drawer menu. While this only accounts for a small number of users (As per Google’s data), this issue has already been tackled by other gestural systems such that a user may actually be better served by adopting those.
Google is also working on bringing those new gestures to Chrome OS tablets, so perhaps it’ll have worked on that a bit more by then.