With the thinner and repurposed navigation bar, the trigger for the Google Assistant also changed and after reasonable inquisition, we learned that one of the ways to hail the Assistant is by swiping from one of the lower corners of the display towards the center of the screen. As can be seen in the video below, the new dark boot animation in Android Q Beta 5 will be a lot easier on the eyes, especially when you have to reboot your phone at night.
The formal declaration of the new open beta testing program comes via a post by a Google employee to the Messages help community, together with a formal request that members not "publicize or share the features you're testing until they're publicly available" - like anybody will hold fast to that. Instead, the focus has been on using the power button to trigger the Assistant.More news: Backlash after Johnson refuses to guarantee ambassador's future over Trump row
On that same note, there's also a new way of invoking the Google Assistant.
Similar to other apps, Google Messages is running its beta program through the Google Play Store.More news: Kick away unequal U.S. Soccer team pay: Darcy cartoon
Perhaps to make sure that these elements don't interfere with the new back gesture, we should be seeing an option to change the sensitivity of the back swipe. This peek behavior will let users know if they've grabbed the drawer and if continuing with the gesture would bring it in. Users will be able to open the drawer by peeking the drawer, and then swiping.
Currently, Pixel smartphones running Android 9.0 Pie allow you to switch between navigation button styles regardless of what launcher you have set as the default.More news: China's June PPI unchanged from year earlier; CPI up 2.7% y/y
It's possible that Beta 5 could land tomorrow (Google is known for pushing out these updates on Wednesdays), so we might all have more details about this and other features hiding in Beta 5 soon. Enter your email to be subscribed to our newsletter.