Google wants feedback on how well Android 14's predictive back gestures are working

Making the OS better for everyone

Gesture navigation really helped bring Android into the modern mobile era, but work continues on refining the experience. Attempting to navigate to the previous screen in an app could sometimes dump you right to your phone’s home screen, with frustratingly unpredictable results. Thankfully, Google’s working to make the back gesture more helpful with predictive back navigation in Android 14. It’s been a few weeks since the first preview build reached app developers, and Google is now welcoming feedback to refine the predictive back-nav user experience.

Google has shared a survey inviting developers to express their thoughts about the predictive back navigation feature. If you aren't familiar, predictive back previews the screen you’re headed to, as you’re midway through the back gesture. That can be helpful if you didn’t want to accidentally leave an app, and didn’t realize you were about to fall back to your launcher.

To make the feature work, third-party app developers need to invoke the OnBackInvokedCallback API, or the OnBackPressedCallback AppCompat API for gesture and button navigation, respectively. Since this entails a significant and conscious effort to ensure the user experience remains consistent across apps, Google's attempt to solicit feedback here is critical and well-timed.

We got an early taste of predictive back navigation with Android 13, although it worked only with a handful of Google apps like Google TV. With predictive back nav needing to work across smartphones, tablets, and foldable phones alike, it’s essential Google works in close coordination with developers to ensure everything operates flawlessly when Android 14 rolls out in the stable channel.

Conclusion on Google wants feedback on how well Android 14’s predictive back gestures are working

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