Love it or hate it, Android 10’s new gesture navigation system is here to stay, and Google is reportedly working hard to make sure it stays. The search giant may force manufacturers to use its gesture system instead of custom navigation options.
9to5Google obtained a copy of the latest Google Mobile Services (GMS) agreement that manufacturers must abide by when making Android devices with access to the Play Store and other Google apps and services. One section in the refreshed document addresses gesture navigation.
According to 9to5, the document requires any manufacturer that ships an Android device with GMS will need to have either the new gesture system from Android 10 or the classic three-button navigation system enabled out-of-the-box. Further, any device that ships with the gesture system as the default must also support three-button navigation.
9to5 notes that Google confirmed device makers would be able to keep creating custom navigation systems. However, the GMS document says manufacturers cannot offer custom navigation as the default option. Google also says that device makers can’t advertise custom navigation systems in the ‘Setup Wizard’ — the software that guides users through the initial setup of the phone — or in any other way, such as through notifications or pop-ups.
Manufacturers that choose to add custom navigation systems must bury the options deeper in the settings menu as well. Google suggests placing them under ‘Advanced’ or similar sections.
While the change may lead to a more unified navigation experience for users, the restrictions are likely to upset manufacturers who want to include their own systems.
The change also interestingly puts an end to the ‘pill’ navigation system introduced with Android 9 Pie. Except for devices upgrading from 9 to 10, Google says manufacturers can’t include it as an option.