Stephen Hall: The new back button in Android P is entirely contextual. It shows only when it has a purpose. Source tells me specifically that it does not show on the home screen when there’s nothing happenin’

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Stephen Hall: The new back button in Android P is entirely contextual. It shows only when it has a purpose. Source tells me specifically that it does not show on the home screen when there's nothing happenin'

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45 Comments on "Stephen Hall: The new back button in Android P is entirely contextual. It shows only when it has a purpose. Source tells me specifically that it does not show on the home screen when there’s nothing happenin’"

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Anonymous
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asng
Guest

Please god make it work properly this time. This is huge if so. Huge!

gtipwnz
Guest

This is the dumbest change in a sea of dumb recent changes.

tendorphin
Guest

I’m gonna rather a button that does nothing over a chunk of empty nav bar at the bottom.

vivek31
Guest

This is just plain awful.

LittleBigKid2000
Guest

This won’t do anything for the OnePlus One which has buttons that are separate from the screen, will it? I don’t imagine the lights can be controlled separately.

FFevo
Guest

So right now the back button rotates downward when you have the keyboard open to signify that you are dismissing something, not navigating backwards.

I hope they do something similar to differentiate between navigating backwards and exiting an activity.

altimax98
Guest

But doesn’t the back back button *always* have a purpose?

This sounds like a totally backwards and broken patchjob to something Google should have fixed many many versions ago.

I foresee the back button randomly appearing and disappearing at will based on crappy code from crummy developers who don’t bother following the guidelines.

Why wouldn’t Google implement a swipe across the bottom for the back button???

mub
Guest

Careful now google. The back button is my biggest bragging point when iPhone users try to tell me iOS is best. If it becomes optional apps might stop supporting it properly then I might as well buy an iphone.

Google! Please dont mess up the back button.

BaconitDrummer
Guest

Don’t fix what ain’t broke. The back button is a fundamental function of Android

parekh07
Guest

Why they are trying so hard to copy iOS?

lilremains94
Guest

If it ain’t broken , don’t fix it. Anyone ever hear that saying?

aargiee
Guest

If this is implemented, how will we split the screen ?

Jokershigh
Guest

Haven’t we had gestures for years now? I know Smart launcher has had them at least for past 3 that I’ve been using it

ishatonmybed
Guest

Who?

corey389
Guest

I just want auto hide the nav bar without any ADB and dark mode

Shadesta9
Guest

That doesn’t make any sense. If it shows up based on context, then there would be no need for it in the screenshot we do have, because there’s already a cancel button on the dialogue. So when would it be needed exactly?

timawesomeness
Guest

That sounds horrible. Just straight horrible. The current functionality of the back button is essential IMO, and is one of the things that makes Android so much better than iOS. I’m really losing confidence in Google’s vision for the future of Android.

felixame
Guest

I like that everyone is calling this a horrible garbage broken feature when it hasn’t even rolled out yet.

borkthegee
Guest

I fucking miss hardware navigation so much.

With hardware navigation, fucking “cute” designers can’t fucking fuck with your vital navigation. It can’t spin around to another side. No auto-hiding of your navigation because it’s taking up your screen space. No swiping up oh hey your fucking nav is on the other side of the phone bullshit.

Thank god that power and volume buttons remain hardware keys.

Could you imagine how much fucking damage a Google Designer could do to volume usability if it was a softkey? *Shudder*

deggy123
Guest

I wonder if this is to help combat screen burn in.

DoriDoritos
Guest

I don’t know man, I just hope they will allow custom ROMs and OEMs to keep a permanent back button. This reeks of Google trying to be more like iOS. How about copying them in areas that actually matter, like more granular permission control for apps?

McFeely_Smackup
Guest

I just wish “back” always meant the same thing…like go ‘back’ to the screen I was on before I hit the button.

But nope, it’s like a random function generator. sometimes it goes to the previous screen, sometimes it goes to a different screen in the current app . Just be consistent.

JakeDaniels_TBC
Guest

> nothing happenin’

My favorite spin-off show of “What’s Happening!!”

Hirshologist
Guest

Not liking this at all. This seems like it would take away the recents double tap shortcut.

I don’t see the point of this.

ixid
Guest

This sounds like they’ve totally run out of ideas and are patting themselves on the back for stupid changes.

128bitworm
Guest

Please leave my ‘back’ button alone.

efbo
Guest

That just seems utterly pointless. If nothing else is taking up the space then it might as well stay. If it isn’t there the nav bar will look ridiculous.

mikeymop
Guest

Well that’s going to feel asymmetrical

Voltrondemort
Guest

Want to impress me with saving bar space? Hide the URL bar in chrome when I’m typing in landscape mode and the url doesn’t have focus. There’s like 1″ of space in landscape when the keyboard is up and like an eighth of that is taken by the status bar.

devsquid
Guest

Uh oh. I really hope they do a good job with this. The navigation bar is foundational to the Android’s UI. I think having a somewhat static navigation bar gives Android a nice UX. Apps can do whatever they want, but the nav bar never changes. You can always reliably go back with the back button etc. I think its one of the biggest advantage’s Android has over iOS. I reaaaaaly hope they do this well.

NanoRex
Guest

I haven’t seen anyone mention yet that even if it’s implemented well in Android, app developers are going to screw it up to hell. I can count on two hands how many apps I have installed that actually have a decent navigation system, even with the back button present.

JJDavidson
Guest

But that would make the nav bar so asymmetrical.

IcanCwhatUsay
Guest

Favorite thing about Android is the dedicated back button. It’s one of Apple’s biggest oversites

TuxRug
Guest

I’m hoping that if they swap the navbar for gestures, it’s optional. Like an alternative for people who disable the navbar or force immersive mode all the time anyway.

bradmeyerlive
Guest
I know that this take won’t be popular, but I work in a carrier store. A very large percentage of our clients are 50+. When they first use Android, the back button seems like it just takes things backwards. But the hierarchy progression is too complicated for them. I have people with college degrees come in to upgrade two years later who don’t understand that sometimes the back button moves them to another app or doesn’t close an app. It’s a mystery. If you want more, the app drawer is worse. I have seen hundreds of home screens with multiple… Read more »
CharaNalaar
Guest

Holy shit, this is fucking stupid.

I knew something was up when I saw that odd navbar in the original developer blog post, but these rumors make it even worse.

tetroxid
Guest

> The source said that Google was testing a new navigation bar design that is similar to Apple’s iPhone X with a new layout that removes the multitasking button for a swipe up gesture and the new home icon pill you see here.

For FUCKS sake! Can everyone please stop copying all of apple’s worst ideas and start copying the things they do better, like providing updates?

whiskeytab
Guest

judging by how often the back function does weird shit this probably isn’t a good thing

Stevey854
Guest

Hopefully OEMs fix this garbage for their skins.

biggles86
Guest

I can only imagine that would cause some fringe issues.

also, wouldn’t the nav bar then be lopsided?

Daveed84
Guest

All I want from the navigation bar is to make it transparent everywhere, in all apps, without root. Is this achievable already?

smartfon
Guest

– Tap is always more ergonomic than a swipe, especially on large phones with thin bottom-bezels, which is the trend.

– Tap is always faster than a swipe.

– Tap is always easier than a swipe.

– Tap is always safer than a swipe for not dropping the phone.

Keep cloning the iOS and give us a reason why we shouldn’t switch to iOS for better OS updates, app quality, messaging and performance.

MBK852
Guest

Why not just type the “g”? Why use the apostrophe?

Blackadder18
Guest

It’s contextual? So it will turn into a question mark whenever I open YouTube?