Android and iOS have grown more similar over the years, yet Android continues to hold the advantage when it comes to the back gesture. While iPhone users grapple with inconsistent back gestures and buttons, Android’s back gesture is a breeze—a tap or swipe returns you to the previous page, app, or screen every time. Now, the gesture is evolving, and you can be among the first to test the update.
Android 14 swipe back gesture: A double-edged sword
Android’s back gesture has been praised for its simplicity and effectiveness. But what if you can’t recall the last thing you were doing on your phone? For most Android users, the back gesture is a convenient shot in the dark. That’s about to change with Android 14, which aims to provide more context before you jump back to your previous position.
With Android 14 Developer Preview 2, Google introduces the “predictive back gesture,” which displays a preview of your destination as you pull on the screen. Whether you’re going back a page or switching to another app, the preview will show you what to expect. Additionally, a Material You arrow will appear, indicating that you’re going back a page.
Although Android 14 isn’t officially released yet (and some users still await Android 13), you can try the new back gesture by installing the latest Android 14 developer preview on your Pixel 4a 5G or newer device. Unlike Apple’s developer betas, which require a paid developer account, anyone can install the developer preview on a compatible Pixel device. However, exercise caution before installing the preview on your personal phone and ensure you have a secure backup of your data.
To install the developer preview, follow Android Police’s comprehensive walkthrough for flashing the software on your Pixel. Once installed, you’ll find the new predictive back gesture option under “Developer options” in Settings. Be among the first to experience the enhanced back gesture functionality on Android 14 and stay ahead of the curve!