The first day of the Google I/O 2018 keynote has been wrapped up and there were exciting news has been announced, from AI, Android P, Gmail, Assistant, VR and more. But the biggest announcement by far is the Android P software update. The latest generation of Google’s mobile operating system, Android P, is shaping up to a be a significant upgrade for the company’s flagship platform, down to the basic way users navigate the interface itself, which the Mountain View-headquartered tech giant is redesigning in P with a new, gesture-based approach similar to the one found on the iPhone X.
As rumor mills suggests, instead of the familiar, on-screen buttons (home, return and multitasking) that have been a core component on Android ecosystem for years, the Android P borrows a feature from the Apple. A thick elongated line at the very bottom of the display that you’ll use to swipe around the interface. A number of things are still the same — just like in years, you’ll be able to tap to return to the home screen, just like users always have been, and holding down the home button will still bring up the Google Assistant.
But the tech giant is including new gestures that will entirely take over the old icons. Instead of tapping the multitasking button, users will now do a short swipe up, bringing to a newly redesigned, horizontally scrolling list of currently running apps, alongside an access to the search bar.
Moreover, the scrolling cards are actually interactive and users will be able to tap in and select and copy text without ever leaving the new multitasking interface. A longer swipe up will open the app drawer. Finally, users will be able to scroll between their open apps — quite similar to the iPhone X — by tapping and sliding along the on-screen home button, bringing up a refreshed interface that allows user pan over to the app they want. The return button, meanwhile, isn’t completely gone as Google is still sticking with a virtual return key.
Meanwhile, Google’s Android P beta software update is now available for download in 11 smartphones. It’ll be available on the following devices:
- Google Pixel
- Google Pixel XL
- Google Pixel 2
- Google Pixel 2 XL
- OnePlus 6
- Essential PH‑1
- Sony Xperia XZ2
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S
- Nokia 7 Plus
- Oppo R15 Pro
- Vivo X21
Note that one of these handsets, the OnePlus 6, is not yet available in the market. The device will officially be hitting the shelves on May 16, complete with a famed notch design.