“Get a sneak peek of Android 14’s new back gesture with the latest developer preview”

Google Prepares Biggest Revamp to Gesture Navigation for Android 14

Android 14 will bring a significant change to gesture navigation, making it easier to identify where the back gesture will take users next. Google announced the new back gesture last year, and Android 14 Developer Preview 2 released this week now enables a few apps to work with the new back gesture. If you’re brave enough to install the preview release on your Pixel phone, you can use the new predictive back swipe gestures.

To experience system settings and Google News with predictive back gestures, you need to enable it in the developer options. This feature shows you which screen you will navigate to next, be it a different section within the same app, another app, or the home screen. Android 14 DP2 also adds a redesigned back navigation arrow that sits in a Material You-themed bubble that stretches and moves as you drag your finger from the side of a screen.

While the demos above show that predictive back gestures look quite solid, there are still some early issues to iron out. For example, in both Google News and system settings, the next screen doesn’t always trigger reliably. Also, sometimes when canceling the back action by moving a finger back to the edge of the screen, there are full system crashes. In addition, the transition doesn’t work across all screens, such as the Google News search interface, where the next backward step doesn’t always show.

Google is planning several more updates before Android 14 is stable, and the company is mainly focusing on making predictive back gestures a standard feature and expanding it to more of its own apps. The company also aims to encourage third-party developers to add support as well.