We’re always looking forward to what’s new in the world of tech, and it’s no wonder. Google’s latest Android update, known for the time being as Android P, brings about some sweeping changes in the Overview multi-tasking screen, and this is sure to be a controversial change with many users. For many iterations now, Google has used a vertically scrolling list of app thumbnails, revising the look and feel of this design over time, but ultimately keeping the same functional listing and behavior of swiping vertically through app thumbnails. This time around Google is moving towards a very iOS 7-like horizontally scrolling view of thumbnails, which completely changes up the behavior that many have come to prefer over the years.
We’ve seen some OEMs move to a horizontally scrolling list of thumbnails, but ultimately this type of view is slower and more difficult to see for many users. Google didn’t just change direction here though, it’s also adding a significant amount of other options to the Overview screen, many of these seeming to be positive changes overall though. The iconic app drawer has now become a permanent part of the Overview window, meaning you’ll be able to access all apps installed on the phone at any time with a quick swipe up from the Overview screen. This is one seriously fantastic addition, as it now removes the need to navigate back home and then go to the app drawer just to open a new app.
There’s also a new gesture-based navigation system that’s optional, and can be enabled in System Settings under Gestures. This new system morphs the home button circle into a pill shape, and removes the Overview button completely, and removes the back button on the home screen. Swiping up on this pill button brings up overview, while swiping right moves between running apps at any time. This swipe right to move between apps is certainly very handy, and plays in with the horizontal navigation Google is introducing in Android P. Check out the video of it in action below and see what we think, and don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel for updates as they arrive!