Android Q Beta 5 Introduces A New Swipe Feature & Gesture Fix

Google has added at least two new gesture fixes with its fifth iteration of the Android Q Beta program, solving one issue and adding one more way users can access Android features, XDA Developers reports.

The first newly-spotted change with the Android Q Beta 5 release solves a problem with the search giant's swipe-based alterations to navigation that's been lingering since the third version of the experimental software. Namely, that's the bug that had cropped up when users turned on the screen pinning features. After locking an app to the screen, there weren't any gestures to exit.

Pinning an app is now accomplished by long-pressing an app in the recent apps menu before selecting the option. The difference is that now, instead of getting stuck there with no gestures available to navigate away, users can simply swipe up and hold that position for a moment in order to unlock the pinned screen.

No visual cues are provided with the new gesture either. So it should still be safe to hand off an Android Q device to a friend or family member who needs to use a specific app -- without quite so much risk of them guessing their way out and to other areas of the OS or other apps.

Circumventing difficulties in finding accessibility features.

Beyond bug fixes, the new update also adds a fresh way for those in need of accessibility features to find them. Rather than having to navigate a maze of options in the settings app to find those settings, a simple swipe upward from the bottom using two fingers will call forward a card with accessibility features laid out on it.

That means that settings and apps associated with those, whether that's adjusting brightness and volume, using Google Assistant, or accessing deeper settings via a direct link to the appropriate menu is already in thumbs reach via a simple gesture.

For those who don't want or need the new gesture, swiping up with two fingers and navigating to the accessibility menu will also provide easy access to a toggle that turns it off completely.

There are still plenty of issues with gestures to work out

The latest gestures are just a couple of many that have been added since gesture navigation was first introduced through this most recent update. Most of those will probably remain unchanged aside from some moderate tweaks and optimizations through the remainder of the beta and into the final stable launch of Android Q.

That's not to say that there aren't still issues or that some of the recently introduced changes aren't going to annoy some users. Among other things, rather than fixing discrepancies with the new gestures, the update has also removed the ability for third-party launchers to access those.

When users load up an aftermarket launcher, they'll be forced back to the much older, 3-button navigation style by default. The Android 9 Pie 2-button gesture style for getting around the OS will still be available but Google doesn't seem concerned about having cut off the popular customization utilities from the new navigation. So that will likely remain in place when Android Q is finally released until somebody finds a workaround.

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Daniel Golightly

Junior Editor
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]