Android P will be using a new set of navigation buttons

Rumors have been swirling around about Google making some tweaks to the navigation bar in Android P, and thanks to 9to5 Google, we’re getting a glimpse at exactly how that’s going to look. There are no official screenshots outside of what Google has accidentally leaked, but there’s enough information to at least figure out the gist of the remodel.

Keep in mind that this isn’t simply a change in the default icons at the bottom of your screen. This time around, Google is legitimately changing some functionality of Android’s navigation bar to make things flow a bit better and feel more seamless.

Instead of the simple triangle/circle/square that we’re all so used to, you’ll find a small horizontal pill shape where the circle home button used to sit, and that’s not. That’s not too dissimilar to the iPhone X, although Google has implemented slightly different gestures and controls.

You won’t swipe up to go home, but can instead tap the pill icon like you’re already used to. Long-pressing for Google Assistant is still present, too. However, swiping up on the pill will bring up a new multitasking interface that scrolls horizontally instead of vertically. Besides that, there’s no more back button.

At least, there’s no back button when you don’t need it. The back key is situational and will disappear when it’s not needed or can’t do anything, and will pop back up in its normal place as necessary. It’s unclear exactly how that will be set, but we’ll certainly find out when Android P is officially released.

Aside from that we still have questions about how the entire system will be implemented on, say, a Samsung device that’s updated to Android P. Will manufacturers be forced to adopt the new tap-and-context system, or will they be able to keep using the old system and putting the back button on the wrong side of the screen? Hopefully we’ll learn that very soon.

source: 9to5 Google


About the Author: Jared Peters

Born in southern Alabama, Jared spends his working time selling phones and his spare time writing about them. The Android enthusiasm started with the original Motorola Droid, but the tech enthusiasm currently covers just about everything. He likes PC gaming, Lenovo's Moto Z line, and a good productivity app.


  • Commentator

    Everyone knows that Samsungs implementation of the back button is the way its meant to be.