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Do you prefer gesture or button navigation?

Android Q brings a lot of changes to Android, one of the biggest being its navigation. In this update, Google's committing to using a fully gestural method of getting around the OS, ditching buttons entirely.

This is an unsurprising move, but it's also one that could cause for a lot of headaches. As such, it's gotten a lot of people talking in the AC forums about what kind of navigation they prefer.

I've read some other Android editors critiques of Android gesture system, I think people are being a little bit too critical of Android Q gesture system. I found ways to work around the gestures.

eric002

Swearing I'd never give up the 3 button navigation I finally gave the Gestures a try on the Huawei Mate 10 Pro followed soon after by the Mate 20 Pro and within a day I couldn't go back to 3 buttons. I've had the Pixel 3xl for about a month now with Android Q on it the whole time again using full gestures and the transition from Huawei to Google was seamless as they use identical gestures. I...

dov1978

I prefer the 3 buttons but surely some day I'll get dragged kicking and screaming into the wonderful world of gestures. I will say I'm very glad I've held onto my pixel2. Long live the 3 buttons !!

cbreze

Now, we'd love to hear from you. Do you prefer gesture or button navigation?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

28 Comments
  • Buttons are better than gestures. They just are.
  • I prefer the gestures over the physical buttons. On my phone, Samsung S10, I use the swipe gestures to have more screen real estate.
    On my tablet, S5e, I tried using the gestures and prefer to use the buttons. Because the tablet is too cumbersome to hold and swipe.
  • I found the same I have Nova on tablet and use their gestures but the button system with better.
    I bought an iPad and the gestures are terrible and had to return it.
    Being able to one thumb gestures is a must
  • I love the gestures on my OnePlus 5t, and continue to hope that Google will come to it's senses and "borrow" the same setup.
  • I really like the gestures from Pie, but I'm currently using 3 button nav because the Q beta doesn't play nice with third party launchers.
  • Gestures all day long. Don't miss buttons in the slightest
  • I like the on screen buttons. Some gestures are fine when they add to the overall experience. However, gestures only sounds troublesome. Heres an idea maybe you could swipe up from bottom left corner at a sharp angle to mid screen , hold, then draw an infinity spiral for home. Maybe a nice Star of David for recent screens. I just love whimsy. Please leave 3 button nav as an option. Always.
  • That's why I like Samsungs gestures. All they did was replace swipe up for a button press. Same location, same action. And you get there screen back.
  • Buttons every time despite the gestures on my OnePlus 6 being better than Google's
  • Gestures. Easy on OneUI, and the absence of buttons precludes the chance of burn-in.
  • Gestures. BB10 did it best.
  • This is the answer here. Google should have just bought the rights to BB10 patents and leveraged those. They were so simple an intuitive! I have to say, the one gesture I miss from BlackBerry though is the swipe up from the left corner to bring up the keyboard. It could also hide the keyboard when it was open. Really miss that ability when it pops up when I don't want it or if I want to pop it open quickly to check key mappings or something.
  • Buttons. I am glad they give you the option though as forcing one or another on people is stupid (like Google did with the Pixel 3).
  • Can we get Palm OS gestures back? Those were great.
  • I'm down with gestures after using them for 4 months on Q beta...
  • I like Motorola's gestures, but hate Google's versions in both Pie and Q. Will use buttons as long as Google continues to go ignore how gestures are supposed to work
  • Buttons. For me at least, they are more direct and don't interfere with other operations.
    They take zero space when not needed in apps, and I already have more screen space thanks to not having notches, holes, or rounded off corners ;)
  • Gestures, but I have yet to figure out how to go back on this app. I just got Pie on OnePlus 3T last month along with OnePlus 6 just joining my inventory (anybody remember Captain Two Phones? @MrMobile)
  • I don't get this article. So what are you selling here? I don't see a buy now link. AC 'writers' must be slipping.
  • I'm a fan of Samsung's implementation.
  • Gesture. It feels more intuitive and you get more screen real estate for what I want to see.
  • Neither. I use my Jedi mind power to simply make my phone do what I want.
  • Definitely button navigation for me. I'm using the S9 on Pie and have tried using Samsung's navigation gestures. Just can't get used to them.
  • Since I got the OP6. Didn't like Samsung's take, don't like Google's either. Moved to the OP7Pro after I broke my 3a XL.
  • Back in the day I loved Palm gestures. When that platform died and I switched to Android I really missed the gestures and the buttons felt archaic. However, after using the buttons for so long, I they are familiar and switching back seems difficult. Bottom line, with time we get used to anything. I do think there has been a huge benefit of having the buttons be universal across all Android devices, and hope gestures will become unified too. Buttons also have the benefit of being somewhat obvious in how they work, without much learning. My elderly mother understands that the little home button takes her home, and the back button takes her back.
  • I too thought I would always stick to the 3 button navigation system, but since I started using a OnePlus 6 and the stock launcher I tried the swipe navigation... liked it... got used to it... and now I use it all the time. However, I agree with everyone who said that the 3 button system needs to remain an option! There people who do NOT want to learn new ways to do things... you know... older people??? Also, there are those who do not have good use of their fingers and being able to just press a visible button to make the phone do what they need is vital. So I have learned to accept gestures.... at least those from OnePlus.... but the 3 button solution is a must for those who need it. Android is all about options!
  • Gestures for me, but leave options open for those who prefer otherwise.
  • I prefer gestures. On my Note 9 my phone is fully gestures because I removed all the on screen nav buttons and I have one handed operation mode on so I swipe in on my screen to access media controls and to turn my screen off.