“The change is due to a conflict that occurs when users swipe to go back in apps”
Google has brought a full-gesture navigation system to Android Q which is currently in advanced beta stages. With these gestures, users can swipe from either side of the screen to go back. While this feature has been implemented by quite a few Android-based custom skins, Google has brought it this year. However, this gesture comes in direct conflict with the navigation drawers found in apps that also require a swipe from the side (usually left) of the screen. Google has noticed the issue and as per an Android Developer, there will be a change to address this.
Chris Baines, who is an Android Developer Relations member, posted on Twitter today that the swipe to go back will stay but the method to open the navigation drawer will change. More specifically, it will require the user to tap-and-hold the edge of the display until the drawer pops out after which a swipe can bring it out completely. This might still be more time consuming, but it’ll avoid the confusion with the swipe-to-go-back gesture. Considering the old-fashioned tap on the hamburger button to bring the menu is also difficult with large-screened devices, this is a welcome move by Google.
Of course, this isn’t anything new as Huawei has a similar implementation for EMUI for some time. One more change coming is a limit for devs to block the side swipe gesture up to a certain point. Earlier, developers could block the entire sides of the app, but now that will be limited to 200 dp. This particular feature is likely to be available in Android Q’s stable version. Google suggests developers update to 1.1.0-alpha02 for the best experience on Android Q even though this change will be seen on all version of the DrawerLayout API. Android Q is still in its 4th beta and the 5th beta should be releasing soon.