Google may have unintentionally leaked a possible new breakthrough for Android P, the operating system version that is still in the experimental phase and should have its news presented only in May. Through an image posted and quickly removed from the company’s blog, you can see a big change in the system navigation bar that indicates the adoption of navigation gestures similar to those of iPhone X.
It is not possible to point out that this is a new way to navigate the system, but it is a fact that the bar does not look like anything with what we know as the Android standard. The color scheme of the settings window with the white and blue tones show that it is a Pixel branded phone, but it does not show the recent apps button. In place of the center circle is a small horizontal bar, while the back button remains in the same place as always.
Journalist Stephen Hall of the trusted 9to5Google says he has confirmed with sources that yes, the horizontal button is dedicated to navigation by gestures. The back button is still there because it’s important to navigate within apps, but it can also hide itself depending on what you’re doing on your phone. The recent apps button loses its function with gesture control, which is why it does not exist in the image.
Anyone who has touched the iPhone X knows that the change of the physical Home button has brought great usability changes to iOS that have even left some longtime users quite confused. The trend is that this catch will indicate that similar changes might be on the way to Android, but it’s still too early to say. Because this is a system under development, new features can be discarded at any time, so this new navigation bar can never leave the paper.
The fact is that after the Ars Technica website highlighted the image, Google changed the capture on his blog to another that does not show the system navigation bar, which proves that it was something that should not have been seen at this time.