Google does not have the habit of forbidding anything to its users, except for the ban on rollback to earlier versions of the OS introduced in Android Pie. Any customization, firmware and rooting – all this is either officially permitted or allowed with the silent approval of Google. But sometimes users behave differently than the company wanted, and then it shows them how to. Sometimes it comes out very rude, for example, as in the case of reminders that are associated with Google Assistant. And it happens quite light, as is the case with gesture control.
in Android Q, Google developers have proposed three ways to control the interface: using gestures, on-screen keys, and hybrid. However, a study by the company showed that most testers preferred the classic set of three system keys to swipe. Such a layout did not suit Google, and she decided to point out to users their mistake, telling about the convenience of gestures.
Gestures on Android
According to Rohan Shah, head of Google’s interface development department, for many, on-screen buttons seem to be a more familiar way of managing an interface, but they take up free space and are less intuitive. Gestures make it possible to use a large smartphone more comfortably with even one hand, making the process of interacting with the device faster because of its naturalness.
The current implementation of gestures in Android Q is based on a lot of research. Before introducing it, Google studied how users hold their smartphones, at what angle their fingers rest on the screen, and which area they touch most often. For example, in the course of the research, it turned out that users switch between applications about twice as often as returning to the desktop. True, with the button control they had to perform more actions than with a gesture, calling up the ambiguity menu with one click and choosing a new application with another. In the case of swipes, this can be done with the usual swipe, in fact, saving time.
I understand the position of Google, but gestures have one significant drawback – they need to be remembered. If everything is clear with the keys, because there are three of them and they indicate specific actions, then with gestures everything is much more complicated. The existence of horizontal, vertical and diagonal swipes does not facilitate the work with a smartphone, but only complicates it.
Which is better: gestures or on-screen buttons
Of course, this is a matter of habit, but most users do not have the patience to understand the directions of the movements of their fingers. This leads to a logical conclusion – managing gestures on Android is not as intuitive as Google says, which means you need to either refine them or leave users alone and not deprive them of the ability to control their smartphones using on-screen buttons.