Gesture navigation arrived in full force on Android recently, and OnePlus was one of the first to embrace it with a collection of optional navigation gestures. Now, ahead of its new launch, the company is talking about how it will revise OnePlus 6T navigation gestures.

An interview posted today on OnePlus’ forums talks about how the company is planning to change up its custom software layer, OxygenOS, as time goes forward. There’s a lot of new information here, but the most interesting bit relates to the OnePlus 6T navigation gestures. Apparently, the next release of these gestures, which first debuted on the OnePlus 5T, will be making some key improvements.

The original gestures will stick around and work as usual, but OnePlus says that it has reworked some things to be more natural and fluid. For example, when swiping up to go back to the homescreen, the app window will imitate the path of the user’s finger. OnePlus has also added a quick switch gesture which allows users to easily go back and forth between their most recently used applications. Personally, this was my bigger problem with OnePlus’ gestures, so I’m glad to see it given some attention.

Further, OnePlus details that Google Assistant will be easy to access on the OnePlus 6T navigation gestures as well. The company previously launched a shortcut to access Assistant with the power button, and that will be on the OnePlus 6T. A 0.5-second press will launch Assistant.

We’ve made Navigation Gestures smoother overall. Whenever you swipe up in an app, the application window will follow your finger, making for a more natural experience. It’s also faster in two ways: with a quick flick from the bottom of the screen towards the right of your screen, you can change between 2 recently used apps. As there’s no navigation bar when using gestures, users weren’t able to double-tap the “recents” button to quickly switch between apps. This new gesture provides a quick and easy substitute. Another thing users couldn’t do with Gestures in version 1 was quickly accessing Google Assistant. That’s why we’ve added a new action: just hold the power button for 0.5s to activate Google Assistant.

Interestingly, OnePlus also mentions that it is bringing a “whole new UI” on the OnePlus 6T. Given the company’s past focus on sticking close to stock Android, this mention is a bit of a mystery. How much will be changing? What does OnePlus mean by the “most distinctive and intuitive” UI yet? We’ll have to wait and see when the OnePlus 6T debuts on October 30th.

We’re working on a ton of exciting stuff for the OnePlus 6T. We’ve got a whole new UI coming up that you will have to experience for yourself to really understand. Our goal was to express the OnePlus design language in our UI, making this the most distinct and intuitive version of OxygenOS yet.

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Ben Schoon

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