18 October 2018
The new Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL only have the gesture-based navigation which means this feature doesn’t come as an option as it comes on the Pixel 2 devices. This has been confirmed by @madebygoogle later on via a tweet as well. Upon asking by a user if the gesture navigation can be disabled, Google replied that the team has now introduced a new pattern that will represent navigation on all Android phones going forward.
Google says change and adaptation to the new pattern are hard but it’s definitely better and makes app switching a faster experience.
Hi! Pixel 3 introduces a new pattern that will represent navigation on all Android phones going forward. While change & adapting to new patterns is hard, we believe it's a better navigation pattern & makes app switching a faster experience.— Made by Google (@madebygoogle) October 9, 2018
Those who have been living under the rock should know that Android 9.0 Pie introduced a new navigation paradigm which is gesture-based. On most devices running Android Pie, the old three-button interface could be reactivated easily via a toggle found in the settings app. But in the case of Pixel 3 devices, this toggle option hasn’t been provided which means the users are only left to using the new gesture-based navigation.
It should be noted that once the users learn the patterns, the app switching and navigation will become a lot faster and smoother as well. The tech world firstly moved from the physical navigation to the on-screen buttons for navigation and now the latter is also getting removed.
Talking to Android Central in an interveiw, EK Chung, UX manager for Android handheld and Pixel at Google, he said, "While Pixel devices that are updated from Oreo will still see their three-button navigation by default with an option to switch to gestures, future Google phones (and any other manufacturer that wants it) will ship with only gesture navigation, Chung was quoted as saying.