Unpopular Notification Gesture Change In Android Q May Be Reversible

Google appears ready to strike a sort of compromise on at least one unpopular notification change that it released as part of Android Q Beta 1, based on a recently spotted post from a Googler in the Google Issue Tracker.

In the beta, the company did away with the previous method by which users could interact with notification cards for a given application -- swiping to the left or right to dismiss the card, with slow or partial swiping for more options. Users running Android Q noted that they were forced to swipe from left to right to dismiss the notification with an arguably less intuitive swipe in the opposite direction bringing up snooze controls and other choices.

According to the aforementioned user posting to Google's web-based issue reporting and tracking tool, that's not going to remain the case in a "future Android release." Users will able to effectively reverse the direction of the swipes used so that an opposite result would be brought about by the respective swipes.

A middling solution

The response appears to be a sort of middle ground and was probably intended to be included at some point before release but the Googler's response doesn't go so far as to say it will be part of Android Q for certain. Adding the option to reverse the direction of swipes shouldn't be too difficult but that will come down to how the search giant chooses to implement the feature.

For instance, it could tie the change to whether a user is right- or left-handed in a way that's similar to how the Gboard one-handed mode works and based on which direction is easier to swipe for those respective users. Conversely, it may as easily make the option entirely up to the discretion of the user or ultimately abandon providing an alternative at all.

In any case, the solution seems to represent a kind of middle ground. Although some responding developers are calling for the company to make it a completely optional feature in addition to the current gestures, that isn't likely to happen.

...that's still going to be unpopular

Simply adding in the ability to reverse the direction of respective swipes in the notification shade is not going to make everybody happy -- and no other change or decision from Google necessarily will either. Aside from requests that the change is made optional, developers on the issue tracker argue that the new gesture is more complex or just inferior to the current gesture.

At least one other developer has gone so far as to respond with a suggestion for an entirely different solution that would change things still further. In short, the developer calls for swipes to control the notification dismissal action while long-presses be moved to show other options such as message snoozing. That's almost certainly not going to be a popular suggestion either since long-presses are already used in Android 9 Pie to access deeper notification or app details and settings.

It seems developers are Google are just bound to be torn on exactly how to handle notifications. The beta isn't expected to be finalized to a stable build until at least Q3, so at least there's still plenty of time for disagreement and testing before anything is finalized.

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Daniel Golightly

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for AndroidHeadlines since 2016. As a Senior Staff Writer for the site, Daniel specializes in reviewing a diverse range of technology products and covering topics related to Chrome OS and Chromebooks. Daniel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering and has a background in Writing and Graphics Design that drives his passion for Android, Google products, the science behind the technology, and the direction it's heading. Contact him at [email protected]
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