Google has not released the first developer preview for Android Q yet, but we are seeing some features that may be included in the upcoming Android release through different leaks. The latest is in regards to the gestures in Android Q. It seems that Google is going to be getting rid of the back button that was available in Android Pie. This makes sense, seeing as that back button was pretty weird. It only showed up when you could go back and wasn't always there.
In Android Pie, users would get the back button to do just that, go back. It seemed rather unintuitive. Seeing as the "pill" that was in the center of the navigation bar at the bottom did everything else. It went home, did recents and would bring you into the app drawer. It looks like Google is now fixing that on Android Q.
When it comes to Android Q, it looks like dragging the "pill" to the left and letting go, will take you "back" instead of having a dedicated back button. It's still a tad bit unintuitive seeing as most smartphones that have gestures, don't have a button at all in the user interface. As the reason for this is to give users as much screen real estate as possible.
The leak that we are seeing right now for Android Q is a very early prototype of the new version of Android, and it does look pretty rough right now. Google will likely polish it a bit more before the first developer preview comes out in the next few weeks, and it'll definitely be more polished by the time Android Q launches around August.
Speaking of the Android Q developer preview, it should be launching in the next few weeks. In the past, Google has launched the first developer preview around early March – just after Mobile World Congress. With the second preview coming at Google I/O in May – and being the first true beta of the new version of Android. After that, we normally get monthly previews until August when the final version becomes available.
Google has changed up the release schedule for Android in the past few years, starting with the Pixel. Where the Pixel did not launch at the same time as the new version of Android. Instead it would launch separately in October. Allowing some other smartphones to launch with the latest version ahead of Google. It also started doing developer previews pretty early so that developers can give Google feedback, but also prepare their apps for the new version. So that when it launches, there isn't a ton of apps that are not working in this new version.
Given the amount of leaks we have seen in the past few weeks, regarding Android Q, the first developer preview should be rather soon. And it's shaping up to be a larger update to Android than we have seen in the past few years. It'll likely only be available on the Pixel 3 at first, with other phones coming after the second developer preview is available.