Before we go any further, a quick note: While there are some big changes evident in the Android P beta, quite a few of the tweaks and additions Google announced during its I/O keynotes aren’t available yet. That includes nearly all the digital well-being features meant to help you better understand how you spend time with your phone. It’s a bummer, I know, but if history is any indication, the complete version of Android P is only a few months away.
As you might have heard, Google has embraced a new, gesture-based navigation scheme in Android P, but you’ll have to jump into your device’s settings to enable it. Once that’s done, it’s time to give in. A swipe up from the bottom of the screen reveals Android’s new multitasking interface, which displays running apps as a row of cards you can quickly swipe through. Hold down the nav bar, though, and you’ll be able to slide through those app cards (complete with satisfying haptic clicks) without having to lift your thumb. It takes some getting used to, but I’ve become fond of this swiping method over the past few days — it’s a little touch that makes multitasking ever so slightly faster.
Another swipe up from the bottom of the screen invokes the traditional app launcher, but if you swipe a little more slowly from the home screen, you can bypass the multitasking window altogether. Google’s approach here has drawn some obvious comparisons to the iPhone X’s gesture controls, but make no mistake: This is a different beast. Personally, I find it more reminiscent of Palm’s old webOS, but that might just be me.