Google will apparently force OEMs to hide custom Android navigation gestures

Android 10 introduces a new gesture-based navigation interfaced that's meant to replace the pill-shaped home button in Android Pie, and though it hasn't been particularly well-received, it seems the company wants to force it on as many people as possible. 9to5Google has discovered some requirements outlined by the Mountain View company in the latest Google Mobile Services (GMS) agreement, and it's probably not great news for anyone used to third-party custom gestures.

For starters, the document states that the gesture navigation from Android Pie can't be included as an option for users in new Android 10 devices, though it's "strongly recommended" that devices upgrading from Pie keep it as an option. That leaves either the classic three-button navigation or the new Android 10 gestures as Google's recommended options.

Perhaps more interesting though, is that Google is forcing OEMs to hide custom navigation systems from as many places as possible. Anything other than Google's own options mentioned above can't be mentioned in the setup experience, or promoted through any sort of pop-up or notification. Google also wants custom navigation systems to be hidden "one level deeper" in the settings, such as under advanced settings categories.

While Google's new gesture interface may not be the most well-received, this kind of strategy could at least help unify the experience across different Android devices. This could, in turn, prompt app developers to design app navigation around the new gestures in Android 10, making the experience more consistent.

This isn't the first new bit of information to be discovered in Google's GMS agreement today. It's also been found that the company is working on a certification for gaming-oriented devices.

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