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Android Q moves forward without the back button

More swiping will hopefully mean less confusion -- eventually.

The Android Q beta has given us a good glimpse of what's coming to the next version of Google's mobile OS. Today at its Google I/O developer conference, however, the company showed a feature that's going away: the back button.  

Android Q, the 10th version of the operating system, will get an all-new gestural navigation that will rely on swiping in from your phone's edge to move back a step instead of the familiar back button, The Verge reports

While it might take long-time Android users a while to adjust to life without a back button, a larger immediate challenge might be that app developers regularly use swiping from the sides to open menus and other actions. Google's own Gmail app, for example, currently uses swiping in from the side to advance to the next email and open your inbox menu. 

Until developers are able to update their apps to accommodate the new back gesture, Android Q will treat the first swipe in from the left as a call for the menu, while a double swipe will take you back a step, according to The Verge. 

Google didn't provide any further details when asked for comment, and the interface change does not appear in its blog post about what's new in Android Q.

Expected to ship sometime this summer or fall, Android Q will be focused on improving privacy and providing more useful notifications and offer a collection of useful additions. During the I/O keynote presentations, Google also showed off support for foldable Android phones and 5G wireless, a new Dark Theme and security and privacy and accessibility features, and said beta 3 of Android Q is available now.

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