Android Q Beta 2 has landed and Google now appears to have put a fix in place for at least problem added by Google to the notification system in the previous release. Users can now choose to swipe either left or right to clear notification cards from the UI instead of only being able to clear those with a swipe to the right. A swipe in the other direction is still used to bring forward additional notification options.
The option to switch from a right-to-left or left-to-right swipe is easy enough to access, found within the system Settings app, under "Apps & notifications" and then "Notifications." Under the "Advanced" dropdown, an item labeled "Swipe actions" is now available that, when tapped, brings up a way to toggle between the two available options. Users can swipe right to dismiss and left to bring up the menu or to vice versa.
Not a complete fix but at least there are options now
The change to Google's notifications acts as an at least partial fix for a new 'feature' introduced in the first Android Q Beta release. Namely, it gives users a choice to select a direction that better suits their dominant hand and preferences. What it absolutely doesn't do is bring back the previous method for the action of either dismissing notification cards in the notification shade or accessing options for an app's notifications.
Prior to the Android Q Beta program, a full swipe to either the left or right was used to completely remove applicable notifications — although some could not be removed as part of Google's transparency-based safety policies. Conversely, a partial swipe in either direction brought forward options for muting, delaying, or entirely dismissing future notifications.
To what will certainly be the annoyance of many Android users, Google seems to be firmly planted on the path of eliminating the way the above-listed actions were accomplished before but at least now users can choose which direction to use.
What else arrived today?
Among other slight alterations introduced today to Android Q, users and developers taking part in the beta program will notice at least two other big UI changes with this update. There still doesn't appear to be a dark mode ready to go but the first change will undoubtedly be equally impactful and divisive. Google has effectively copied the gesture controls from iOS with Android Q Beta 2.
While the gestures will be beautified and could see significant changes before the final launch, in their current state they are all but indistinguishable from an iPhone. Google hasn't done away with its pill-shaped home button, back key, or pull-down gestures for accessing a traditional recent apps list just yet but a swipe to the left or right on the navigation bar now moves from app to app just like iOS.
Once navigation has started, a swipe in the other direction moves through the apps in order of most recently used in the opposite direction.
A change to volume sliders is implemented in Android Q Beta 2 as well. Now, tapping on the sidebar slider's settings icon will pull up a card-style panel along the bottom of the screen containing the four typical volume sliders — for media, ringers, alarms, and calls. Buttons are included for more settings and to save newly set levels too.