Android 13 Beta 3: gesture navigation bar is now subtly bolder

If you’re using the gesture navigation method in Android 13 Beta 3, the navigation bar has been updated to be slightly bolder and resemble the familiar iOS gesture bar.

Android 13 Beta 3 offers more refinement ahead of Google’s next stable release of the next mobile operating system. While this isn’t a huge change by any means, it’s actually the first change to the gesture navigation bar since it was introduced with Android 10. The previous three- and two-button navigation methods have been phased out as Google focuses entirely on gestures with all new devices.

As you can see in the screenshots below, Android 12’s thin gesture navigation bar gets sturdier and subtly bolder in Android 13 Beta 3. That certainly helps make it clearer, but has more just a whiff of iOS – which has exclusively used gestures on select handsets since 2017’s iPhone X:

While this is a cosmetic change, it makes this important UI element much more consistent with what’s available from other OEMs. It may also appease some iOS converts and Samsung users who have grown accustomed to a more prominent heads-up tab when using gesture navigation on their smartphones.

The navigation bar area is only visually increased in Android 13 Beta 3 with no effect on the functionality of swipe gestures from your home screen or in apps. That said, it could be quite a controversial change that could frustrate some longtime fans of the thinner pill that’s been around for almost three years now.

Be sure to let us know what you think of this cosmetic change in the comments section below. Alternatively, if you managed to flash Android 13 Beta 3 to your device and spotted something new or noteworthy, be sure to contact us. on Twitter.

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