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What's your favorite navigation style on Android?

For years and years, navigation on Android didn't change. You had the home, back, and multitasking button, and that was it.

These days, however, that's not the case. Android Pie introduced a two-button system with gestures, Android Q gets rid of buttons completely in favor of a fully gesture-based system, and a lot of OEMs have concocted their own way of doing things.

As such, we decided to take a look through the AC forums to see what method our community members prefer.

I installed Q on my phone and so far it's pretty slick. I tried the "fully gestural navigation" and while I like the concept it is kind of buggy. Especially with the picture in picture pop outs for maps and YouTube. I never really liked the hybrid of pie with the pill. So I am currently using 3 button nav. I read that in the GA Google plans to support fully gestural and 3 button. What is...

johnnyshinta

I like the concept, But until the stock launcher has more customization options I'm stuck on 2 button through Nova Launcher. Hopefully they can continue to improve both the launcher and implementation of full gestural navigation.

Larzuk

I prefer the buttons over gesture. If I'm forced to, I'll get used to it.

ptkelly

The gestures is cool. Not just because that's where every smart manufacturer is going, but it makes the experience with the whole operating system smoother in my opinion. as long as every feature of the operating system works. I have no issues with it. It's just getting your muscle memory used to everything.

eric002

Now, we want to hear from you — What's your favorite navigation style on Android?

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.

21 Comments
  • Huawei's gestures are perfect. I hope the new standard is the same or similar for all phones
  • The new standard for Google is pretty obvious and that is following Apple in making Android more like iOS.
  • BB10 gestures were the best...
  • BB10's gestures were awesome! Loved navigating through out the whole OS just with swipes
  • No other OS will match the BB10 gestures.
  • I switched on gestures reluctantly just to get a feel for that new fad I knew I'd dislike, fully intending to hate that and switch it back off with glee after a few days. Wrong: now I'm hooked.
    I'm using Xiaomi/MIUI devices, where gestures are apparently better implemented than on vanilla.
  • I prefer on screen buttons. There when you need them, gone when you don't, and it's just one touch to perform an instant function. You still swipe down anywhere for notifications and quick settings and up for the app drawer, and you can use a mouse on the buttons as well. The most common command for me is back, which I can do with a double touch on the side of the phone without even touching the screen. Or, I can have a floating nav bar show up wherever I tap on the side.
  • I prefer no buttons on my OnePlus 6t. The buttons just take up space on the screen.
  • Samsungs one hand operation app from good lock. I can navigate my whole phone with gestures. Love it.
  • I use Samsung's OneUI gesture navigation, the menu button area hidden, and force press home button. I like the additional screen space. It's not perfect, but I got used to it quickly.
  • Gotta shout out to the Palm Pre, RIP. They did swipe navigation, cards for apps and wireless charging great and before anyone else. Loved it.
  • Adding my shout out to yours.
  • Ditto shout out!
  • I'd like to have the option to use either buttons or gestures not have one or the other forced upon me. Hasn't that been the point to Android over Apple. Apple forces you to use their way or NO WAY where Androids gives you options to set things up the way you want, use what music services you want or even install a different launcher and or theme. If Google starts taking choice's away one might as well just get a damn iPhone. The new ones look extremely ugly!
    If I wanted an Apple phone I would have bought one. My wife has the iPhone 8, I just plain don't like it, nor does she much, not for what it costs at least.
    The P2XL has plenty of reason's to love it. If Google screws up stock Android I guess I'll be switching to a One+ something and back to Nova Launcher..
  • I know I'm old and set in my ways but I like having the home, back, and recents buttons right there on screen. I do like the swipe up for app drawer thing though. Perhaps I'd prefer a hybrid combination of the two.
  • So, I like the gestures on my Moto Z3 running Pie. I don't like the gestures on my LG G7 running Pie. The LG G7 doesn't support the back gesture. You have to still hit the back button. Makes switching between devices frustrating. Additional shout out to Motorola for making the gesture bar look like a webOS device.
  • OnePlus gestures are boss.
  • OnePlus gestures. Tried the stock Android way but I'm just so used to the OnePlus way now
  • I prefer the menu/home/return buttons on my GS3. Not. I miss my Note8. 😢
  • I do not like the gestures the buttons were fine. What's the point oh yeah apples doing it.
  • While I'm perfectly enjoying the full gesture nav in Android Q beta I feel we need some happy medium of both gestures and hard buttons as you can't always rely on your display to be fully responsive. I will admit I'm still getting used to the gesture navigation but it's fun and smooth.