Google Kills The Terrible Pill Gesture Navigation With Pixel 4

Google Pixel 4 Navigation AM AH 1

Google has killed off its first attempt at gesture navigation, the pill in the Pixel 4.

It is nowhere to be found in the Pixel 4, but it is still on the Pixel 3. This likely means that it will be disappearing on the Pixel 3 with a future software update.

This is a good thing. Having two different gesture navigation systems available is confusing. And the pill gesture navigation was pretty terrible to begin with.


But the traditional 3-button navigation is still here

Even though Google removed it on the Pixel 3 last year when Android 9 Pie launched, Google has kept it on the Pixel 4.

So if you aren’t a big fan of the fully gesture-based navigation in Android 10, you can easily go back to the three-button layout. Which has back, home and recents buttons available for you to use. For some, the three-button navigation might be better, as you are likely used to having that layout, if you’re coming from an older phone. So it’s good that Google is keeping that option on the Pixel 4, at least it is for now.

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This makes things simpler for users, and that’s the real story here, but of course, we are still going to have a funeral for the pill gesture navigation system, as it is deserving of one.

RIP the Pill

The pill was Google’s first attempt at gesture navigation, and it did not go over well. It seemed pointless.

This is because gestures are normally used to give you more screen real estate. But that was not the case. You still had the bottom bar at the bottom of the screen. And the back button would randomly show up.


Let’s just say, it was not a good implementation. The new implementation that’s in Android 10 is better, but it’s still not that great. The back button is still an issue, mostly because Google told app developers to use the hamburger menu in their apps, and now the back gesture kills that hamburger menu.

Gestures aren’t perfect, but they are getting better and better.

With Google forcing OEMs to use their own gestures though, it had to kill off this other option that it had on the Pixel 3. It’s going to make things simpler for everyone.


Though, I’m sure if there is enough outcry, Google will bring it back. But we’re pretty sure no one will even notice that it is gone. It was that bad.