Android smartphones have long used three-button navigation, in which there were three buttons at the bottom of the screen to do everything. However, with the latest versions of Android (especially after Android 10), the three-button navigation has been replaced by gestures. So here we are going to show you how to use your Android phone with these touch gestures.
Also, read | How to get navigation gestures on any Android device without root
Touch gestures on Android
Touch gestures are now available in almost all versions of Android, but the newer or more modern are coming to phones running Android version 10 and later. So let’s see how to activate navigation by touch gestures on your phone:
Steps to enable touch gestures on your Android phone
You can choose from modern Android gestures or the old three buttons. I am using stock Android 10 on my Motorola phone and the steps may differ depending on your version of Android and your device.
- On your phone running Android 10 or later, go to Settings and select System.
- Here press Gestures and choose System navigation from the list.
- You can now choose the type of gestures you want to use from the following:
- Gesture navigation: It’s the modern version that only uses swipe gestures. You will only see a small white bar at the bottom of your screen to use all things.
- 3-button navigation: This is the old-fashioned navigation that features a Back button, a Home button, and a Recents button.
- 2-button navigation: This was introduced in Android 9 Pie. It offers a pill-shaped Home button and the Back button on the left.
- One button navigation: In this option, you will only have one button to navigate your phone. You can slide it to either side to do things accordingly.
To note: If you are using Android 9 Pie, you can select the Swipe up on the Home button in the Gestures menu. This will offer 2 button navigation and the other option you will have the classic three button navigation.
How to use your Android with touch gestures
Now that you know how to enable touch gestures, let’s take a look at how to use them.
1. Get home using touch gestures
When you want to go to the home screen, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. It should only be a quick glance from the white bar at the bottom of your screen. Do not touch on it and if you hold your finger for a long time it will open the Recent apps screen.
Once on your home screen, you can slide your finger across the screen again to open your app drawer. Also, don’t slide from the bottom to the top and start a little higher than the white bar. If you want to close the app drawer, just slide your finger down.
2. Go back using touch gestures
To return to any screen, slide your finger on either side of the screen left or right. Place your finger at the end of the screen, then slide your finger to the middle. A small arrow will appear next to your finger. Keep swiping until you reach your home or any other screen you want.
You can also adjust the sensitivity of this swipe gesture. Press the Equipment icon next to gesture navigation on the settings page mentioned above and choose sensitivity levels.
3. Open recent apps using touch gestures
If you want to switch between recent apps, just swipe up from the bottom of the screen and hold your finger for a while. You will see recently opened apps and you can swipe left to right to select one of them and tap on any of them to open them.
You can also swipe down on any app to access it and swipe up to close it. In addition, there is another option- Split screen which allows you to choose another app and use both apps at the same time. Tap any app icon and that option will appear.
Learn more: Want to use two apps at the same time? Here’s how to use the split screen feature
4. Open the Google Assistant using touch gestures
As you know, there are already plenty of ways to open the virtual assistant on Android, including voice commands, by pressing a button on the Google search widget, and some phones even come with a dedicated Assistant button. But you can also use it by gestures.
If you want to use a gesture to open the Assistant, just slide your finger up diagonally from the bottom of the screen from one of the corners. Once you drag correctly, you will see colored lines coming from both corners, and then the Wizard will open.
5. Other things using touch gestures
There are also other things you can do with touch gestures. Some of them come with even older versions of Android, such as three-finger screenshots, swiping down from the top of the screen to open the notification and the Quick Settings panel.
In addition, there are other device specific Android gestures. For example, Motorola phones come with gestures like quickly twisting the string from your wrist to open the camera, doing karate moves to turn on the flashlight, and more.
So here’s how to use touch gestures on your Android phone. Tell us in the comments which version of Android you are using and what type of navigation you prefer!
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