The two fatal flaws with Android 10’s gestures

I’ve been thinking a lot about gestures lately — not friendly gestures, mind you, or even not-so-friendly gestures of the single-fingered variety, but rather the sorts of gestures we swipe onto our screens and use to get around our phones.

Android 10, as you probably know by now, introduces a whole new system of gestures into the operating system. And, well, they’re kind of a mixed bag.

Now, don’t get me wrong: Android 10’s gestures have absolutely gotten better since their awkward debut early on in the development process. And by and large these days, they’re pretty pleasant to use (once you get used to ’em, anyway). But they still have really some vexing elements involved — ways in which using them feels clunky and completely suboptimal. And I’ve finally put my finger on exactly what those issues are.

The good news? They’re flaws that Google could address relatively easily in a future update. The bad news? Until that happens, Android 10’s gestures are gonna remain annoyingly awkward and occasionally irritating. Yes, you can perform some crafty finger-magic to work around these issues — as I suggested in my collection of Android 10 gesture tips earlier this week — but workarounds aren’t long-term solutions. And the vast majority of regular phone-owners are never even gonna know such options exist.

Here, then, are the flaws Google needs to focus on and resolve in order to push Android’s gestures forward and smooth out their still-slightly-rough-around-the-edges nature.

1. Consistency

The issue: The biggest lingering flaw with Android 10’s gestures is both simple and supremely frustrating: When you swipe your finger on your screen, you often don’t know what result you’re going to get — and the action that ends up happening frequently isn’t the one you were trying to achieve.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.


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