Google leaked what could be a major feature of the forthcoming Android P update in a blog post. The entry, which details a new security feature, included a screenshot showing the DNS settings.
Uh, what is up with this screenshot from Google's latest blog post? 1) Blue Pixel color scheme.
2) Nexus-style hollow back button.
3) Pill-shaped home button?
4) No Recents?? ??????https://t.co/NSs6SCIrbv pic.twitter.com/J8Gy1oHQgz — Ron Amadeo (@RonAmadeo) April 13, 2018
At first glance, there's nothing fundamentally different about the design or interface — but look below and there seems to be a navigation bar that has never appeared on Android before.
Android P With Navigation Bar?
It's not clear what exactly the pill-shaped button is for, but it looks suspiciously similar to the navigation bar on the iPhone X albeit far shorter. To its left is a back button, while the right portion where the "recents" button usually resides, is blank.
What does this tell us?
The obvious conclusion here is that Android P will support gestures.
Stephen Hall of 9to5Mac even confirmed on Twitter that per his source, the never-before-seen button is 100 percent for navigation. What's more, the back button is supposed to hide itself. One theory posits that the back button is present in the screenshot because there's a floating dialog box. Otherwise, the back button wouldn't be there, just the navigation bar.
It's going to be a radical move should Android decide to move away from a three-button navigation system and transition into a gesture-based interface. More than that, however, this could be added to the list of iPhone X features Android has copied. The first item in that list is the notch, as third-party manufacturers slowly implemented the design into their newest flagship models.
This is not the first time evidence of a navigation bar on Android has appeared. In fact, Android P features a brand-new horizontal sliding animation where users navigate from screen to screen in an app, which makes sense if the device operates under a gesture-based interface.
As of writing, Google appears to have promptly cropped the screenshot in question, thereby blocking out evidence of the navigation bar. However, you may still be able to view what it looks like by going to Google's servers.
Introducing a navigation bar might be tricky for many Android users who have been accustomed to the typical "back," "home," and "recents" buttons. It's worth noting, however, that Google has yet to confirm whether this is something it plans to roll out exclusively for Pixel devices or other manufacturers can jump in and implement it into their custom Android skins.