Android 11 brings many changes to the operating system, including some adjustments to the system navigation. Starting with Android 11, almost all devices will use Google’s new gesture navigation by default, which might require a little tweaking on your part. There are several ways to make browsing Android 11 more to your liking with just a few clicks.
The quick change gesture
Several phones have tutorials that teach you how to use the new gesture navigation system, but none of them can explain the quick-switch gesture. This is one of the most useful parts of Android’s gesture navigation, letting you move between apps instantly.
You can still access the multitasking overview by swiping up and holding your finger, but you can switch to the last used app just by swiping left to right on the gesture handle at the bottom of the screen. ‘screen.
Want to return? Slide in the other direction. You can keep swiping back and forth to browse your recent apps in chronological order, and all without going into the big picture.
Most of Google’s gesture navigation is a carbon copy of that of the iPhone, but Apple doesn’t have a back gesture. On Android, you can go back by swiping your finger from the left or right edge of the screen. This gesture can sometimes interfere with swiping in apps, but there are a few adjustments you can make.
Under your gesture settings (the location of which varies by device), Android offers sensitivity settings for the back gesture. If you accidentally trigger the “feedback” too often, you can drag the sensitivity slider towards Low. On some devices like the Google Pixels, you get separate sliders for the left and right edges, which can be useful if you want easier access to the slide-out navigation menus on one side of the screen.
Forget the gestures, go back to the buttons
Gesture navigation isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. You can always go back to the classic three-button navigation paradigm. The location of this setting varies by device, but Android stock places it under Settings > System > Gestures > System navigation. On Samsung phones, it is at the bottom of the display menu. Keep in mind that going back to button navigation will use more screen space, and Google’s new multitasking UI doesn’t integrate as well with buttons.
NavStar for Samsung phones
Samsung consistently sells more phones than other Android OEMs, and its latest devices come with Android 11. Samsung has also updated its GoodLock customization suite to Android 11, and one of the add-ons of this popular app is called Navstar. If you have a Samsung phone, this is the best way to change the navigation of the system.
GoodLock is available in the Galaxy Store and will link you to all individual modules, including NavStar. In NavStar, you can change the size, location, and color of the gesture navigation handle. There are also full left and right gesture sensitivity settings, but you only get one slider in the main settings of Samsung phones. If you have chosen to return to button navigation, there are also options for custom buttons, actions, and icons in NavStar.
If you’re not happy with any of Android 11’s navigation options, you can take a completely different route with accessibility apps. There are many apps in the Play Store that can completely replace your system’s navigation. Apps like Assistive Touch and Simple Control have millions of downloads.
Assistive Touch, which is the most popular app in this category, lets you control all of the system’s navigation through a single floating button. Simple Control has racked up a million installs by allowing users to customize navigation buttons with shortcuts and different location options. These apps require accessibility features enabled in Android 11, but the apps should walk you through the setup process.
Several of these tips, such as accessibility apps, can coexist. For example, you can customize your system’s navigation as you like and then add an accessibility app like Assistive Touch only for one-handed use. You’ll be flying around Android in no time.
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