Why Android P gestures are a risk worth taking

Dieter Bohn, writing for The Verge:

Now that those of us brave enough to install the Android P beta have had a week or two to kick the tires, I wanted to revisit them again. Chaim Gartenberg has rightly pointedout that the combination of swipes and buttons means that the core navigation is a set of mixed metaphors. Others have called them “bad” and “a hot mess.” A gentler way to characterize the new system would be “polarizing,” but for Android users a better way might be to call it “rejection.”

Having spent some more time with the Android P beta, I tend to agree — but for different reasons. I am not at all put out by the mixed metaphors in the UI; some button taps and some swipes. Nor am I really annoyed that the gesture system hasn’t reclaimed any screen real estate, if I’m perfectly honest.

Instead, the problem with the gestures in the current iteration of the Android P beta is one that is sadly familiar to Android users: jank. That’s the technical term (no really) that Google itself uses to describe the behavior of the System UI on this beta. “Jank” is usually translated as weird jitters, effects, and scrolling behavior.

I trust that much of that will be resolved in later iterations of the software, but I’m frankly terrified that the subtler issues won’t be. I’m speaking about the basic feel of moving elements around on the screen. It needs to be as close to perfect as possible — as good as it is on the iPhone X in my opinion — otherwise that sense of “jank” is going to permeate everything.

I think the gesture interface for Android P could be risky but also a good move.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/23/17377422/android-p-gestures-risk-google-pixel-material-design

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