The physical buttons gave way to the touch buttons a while ago to gain screen space and, these, in turn, are being gradually replaced by the gestures to give even more prominence to the panel. Android P promises to start using a lot more gesture navigation – so you can activate them – and that is that the buttons and the classic navigation bar seem to have the days counted.
While we await the arrival of Android P and its gestural navigation in the most modern devices (although nobody assures that they will work beyond the Google launcher), we have several options to bring the gestures to any Android phone. Navigation Gestures achieves just that and in its latest update it has become compatible with the new Android operating system.
The partners of XDA Developers release the updated version of Navigation Gestures, the new version of different applications that have been developed over time. The idea of the application is to implement Android navigation gestures “based on the gestures of Apple’s iPhone X” and does so without requesting root accessat any time.
It is a free application whose most basic functions and customization options come at zero cost, although there are certain navigation gestures that are only available in its paid version.
No root, but with permissions
In order to work, Navigation Gestures does require permissions to access the Accessibility Service to simulate the original navigation buttons and make the new floating bar appear. Once access to this service is allowed, it still asks for access to another permission: Secure Settings.
The second access you request is a special permission you need to be able to hide the entire original navigation bar, but it is explained how to give this permission through ADB (Android Debug Bridge) without needing root. If you get lost in the process, the XDA Developers have made a video to explain it, although the ADB Installer they recommend is very fast and easy to use.
Gestures and customizable appearance
In any case, hiding the classic navigation bar is optional and can also coexist with the gesture bar. Once you have access to the first of the services you can start to make gestures and even customize them as you prefer: a touch to go to Home, double tap to invoke the Assistant, swipe right to see recent applications… whatever you need.
In addition, it is possible to completely customize the tablet that represents the new navigation bar: shape, color, level of transparency… Not only will you decide the gestures but you can also choose how the bar will be with which to test them.
In three weeks, Navigation Gestures has accumulated more than 100,000 downloads and dozens of comments, the vast majority positive (with four stars of average rating). The latest update includes support for the Android P system, a new action to launch applications and many more customization options that include the look of the same navigation bar.
The developers promise that the next updates will allow users to also use their phone with the gestures of the OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 6, which will still have more variety and customization options.