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Home / Apple / I ranked mobile gesture based navigation systems, and the iPhone still wins

I ranked mobile gesture based navigation systems, and the iPhone still wins



In 2017, Apple presented gesture-based navigation for iOS on iPhone X and started the trend of phones offering this functionality instead of software buttons. One and a half years later, the ability to use gestures to bypass the phone's interface instead of buttons is available on most phones today.

Now, given how diverse the Android ecosystem is, you will find a selection of different methods to implement these navigation movements among various phone brands. And that's okay, because you might prefer one system over another. After testing multiple phone gestures in recent months, I thought it would be fun to rank them from the most usable to the least usable.

My rating is based on usage, observations, and conversation with friends who have used their phones for long enough to point out their pros and cons. My exhaustive tests take into account user-friendliness, how long it takes to get used to a gesture system, and how intuitively it feels. Let's go!

Top notch: iPhone

Home: Swipe up from the bottom center

Back: None

Recent Apps: Swipe up and hold down from the bottom center

Switching between apps: Swipe left to right at the bottom (just like the woodcut swipes on MacBooks)

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9659002] In the last couple of years I've used an Android phone like my daily driver, and an iPhone as a secondary device. But last year, after the release of the iPhone XS, the roles were reversed. The Apple device's smooth navigation movements – and Pixel 3's XL's clumsy approach to navigation (which I will describe later) – asked for the switch. Apple's system felt intuitive and had a simple learning curve. In contrast, the Pixel 3 XL system is a confusing and cumbersome system.