Samsung offered both navigation systems on Galaxy S23: navigation buttons (navigation bar) and navigation gestures. By default, Galaxy S23 uses navigation buttons to keep it consistent with all previous Galaxy phones. But you can easily switch to Galaxy S23 navigation gestures whenever you want.
This Galaxy S23 how-to guide explains the differences between Galaxy S23 navigation gestures and navigation buttons, the two types/styles of Galaxy S23 navigation gestures, and how to switch to and customize Galaxy S23 navigation gestures with NavStar (Good Lock). Finally, a cheatsheet of frequently used Galaxy S23 navigation gestures is included.
Table of Contents
- Differences between Galaxy S23 navigation gestures and navigation buttons
- How to switch to Galaxy S23 navigation gestures?
- Galaxy S23 navigation gestures: Android style vs. Samsung style
- How to customize Galaxy S23 navigation gestures with NavStar?
- A cheatsheet of Galaxy S23 navigation gestures (Android style)
Differences between Galaxy S23 navigation gestures and navigation buttons
Such an old-school navigation system is very popular among some smartphone users, including some long-time users who care more about getting the job done than fancy methods.
However, the trend for system navigation in Android and iOS is in gestures, not buttons. Android Pie (Android 9) ditched the navigation buttons and partially switched to navigation gestures. Full-screen gestures were kicked in with Android 10.
Of course, most Android phones keep the option of switching between navigation buttons and navigation gestures. But most Android vendors, except Samsung, choose navigation gestures as the default option.
Differences between Galaxy S23 navigation gestures and navigation buttons include the following:
- Navigation gestures save some precious screen space by removing the navigation bar.
- Like it or not, good or bad, navigation gestures are the future of Android (and iOS).
- Navigation buttons work consistently and reliably on all devices.
- Navigation buttons are generally more intuitive (with visual confirmation) for most users.
As both navigation methods are offered on Galaxy S23, choosing the Galaxy S23 navigation gestures or navigation buttons is a matter of personal choice.
Of course, your choice depends on your needs and experiences.
You may stick to the default navigation buttons if:
- You migrated to Galaxy S23 from other Samsung Galaxy devices and are used to the navigation buttons.
- You migrated to Galaxy S23 from an Android phone with Android 8 or older.
- You prefer the simplicity of the navigation buttons.
- Galaxy S23 is your first smartphone.
There is no reason to force you to switch to Galaxy S23 navigation gestures.
However, you may consider switching to Galaxy S23 navigation gestures if:
- You migrated to Galaxy S23 from other Android phones with navigation gestures.
- You migrated to Galaxy S23 from an iPhone without the physical Home button.
- You want to try something new and future-proof.
In a nutshell, the decision boils down to your needs and preferences. You can always switch between these two navigation systems at any time.
How to switch to Galaxy S23 navigation gestures?
As mentioned, by default, Galaxy S23 uses navigation buttons. You may check this guide on how to use and customize navigation buttons (and navigation bar) on Galaxy S23.
When you want to try the Galaxy S23 navigation gestures, you may follow the following steps to switch.
Step 1: Open Galaxy S23 Settings
You can open Galaxy S23 Settings in a few different ways, for example,
- Tap the Settings app icon on the Galaxy S23 Home screen or Apps screen.
- Tap the Gear icon/Settings button in the Galaxy S23 quick settings panel.
- Use voice commands (Google or Bixby).
Step 2: Access Navigation bar settings
Once on the Galaxy S23 Settings page, tap Display, as shown below.
Tap the Navigation bar on the Display Settings page, as shown in the screenshot above.
On Galaxy S23 and other Galaxy phones, navigation gestures and navigation buttons are both considered part of the navigation bar, although the navigation bar will be shrunk when Galaxy S23 navigation gestures are used. You can imagine there is always a bar at the bottom of the screen to host some symbols for you to navigate.
Step 3: Switch to swipe gestures
On the Navigation bar settings page, as shown in the screenshot below, you can set the navigation type as:
- Buttons (navigation buttons, default). Please read this guide on how to use and customize navigation buttons.
- Swipe gestures (navigation gestures).
Tap Swipe gestures to switch to Galaxy S23 navigation gestures.
Once you switch to Galaxy S23 navigation gestures, you will notice the change in the navigation bar, as shown above. A line (bar) replaced the 3 buttons.
Galaxy S23 navigation gestures: Android style vs. Samsung style
On the navigation bar settings page, you can tap More options, as shown above, to switch between two sets of navigation gestures on the Galaxy S23.
The two available types of navigation gestures are:
- Android-style (swipe from sides and bottom, default). Please refer to this guide on Android-style navigation gestures.
- Samsung-style (swipe from the bottom only).
By default, the Android-style navigation gestures are used. You can swipe from the bottom and edges of the screen.
As shown in the screenshot below, when this type of navigation gesture is activated, you can adjust the gesture sensitivity and choose to open Google Assistant by swiping from the bottom corner.
You can tap Swipe from bottom to switch to Samsung-style navigation gestures.
After switching to Samsung-style navigation gestures, you will find three lines at the bottom, as shown in the screenshot above.
The major difference between these two styles of Galaxy S23 navigation gestures includes:
- Android-style navigation gestures are more or less common among most Android devices.
- Samsung-style navigation gestures can only be found on Samsung Galaxy devices.
- Samsung-style navigation gestures are mainly designed for Galaxy S23 owners who migrated from other Samsung devices with navigation buttons.
- Android-style navigation gestures are more intuitive for some owners.
Anyway, if you are used to navigation buttons and want to try the navigation gestures, you may try both to see which is better for you.
How to customize Galaxy S23 navigation gestures with NavStar?
By default, you can only customize the gesture sensitivity for the Galaxy S23 navigation gestures.
If you need more customizations for the navigation gestures, you should try Samsung’s NavStar (part of Good Lock) app.
For example, as shown in the screenshot below, if the NavStar is not installed, you can tap the download button to install it directly inside the Good Lock app (without opening the Galaxy Store app). NavStar is under the Makeup tab in the Good Lock app.
If you want, you can also search for NavStar in the Galaxy Store and then install it.
Because NavStar is one of the components of the Good Lock app (although it is listed as an app in the Galaxy Store), you need to install the Good Lock app first. Otherwise, you cannot install NavStar.
Once installed, NavStar can customize both navigation buttons (and the navigation bar) and navigation gestures. This guide explains how to use NavStar to customize the navigation bar and navigation buttons. In this post, we will focus on using NavStar to customize Galaxy S23 navigation gestures.
As shown in the screenshot above, you can tap the NavStar to customize navigation buttons and gestures depending on your current navigation settings.
If you are using navigation buttons, customization will be available for navigation buttons. If you are using Galaxy S23 navigation gestures, customizations are offered for navigation gestures. As shown in the screenshot below, on the NavStar page, there are two tabs:
- Buttons. Active when you are using Galaxy S23 navigation buttons.
- Swipe gestures. Active when you are using Galaxy S23 navigation gestures.
After installing NavStar, by default, it is not enabled. You need to use the ON switch to enable it, as shown in the screenshot below.
With NavStar, you can customize:
- Transparent hint.
- Allow back gesture in full-screen mode.
- Sensitivity of the back gesture.
- The gesture handle (width, transparency, and color). The gesture handle refers to the line at the bottom.
You can always use the Reset option to reset the gesture handle.
If you use the Samsung-style navigation gestures on the Galaxy S23, you can customize:
- Transparent hint.
- The gesture handle (width, transparency, and color).
If you tap the Buttons button, Galaxy S23 will ask you whether you want to switch to navigation buttons.
A cheatsheet of Galaxy S23 navigation gestures (Android style)
If you are new to navigation gestures, they might seem daunting at first. However, the Android-style Galaxy S23 navigation gestures are actually quite intuitive. In Galaxy S23 developer options, you can also enable predictive back animations introduced in Android 13 (One UI 5).
The following four cards are your cheatsheet of Galaxy S23 navigation gestures.
- Swipe down from the top edge of the screen (or status bar) to open the notification panel or quick settings panel.
- Swipe upwards or downwards on the Home/Apps screen to switch between the Home screen and the Apps screen.
- Swipe left or right on the Home screen (including the edges of the screen) to switch to the left/right panel of the Galaxy S23 Home screen.
- For apps (e.g., Gmail) with a hamburger menu on the left side, you can swipe right with an angle from the left edge of the screen to open the menu.
Do you have any questions about Galaxy S23 navigation gestures?
If you have any questions about Galaxy S23 navigation gestures, please let us know in the comment box below.
The community will help you.
You may check other Galaxy S23 guides organized in the following 4 sections.
- Galaxy S23 new features guides. Galaxy S23 new features guides explain the new features of Galaxy S23 and show you how to use them.
- Galaxy S23 how-to guides. Galaxy S23 how-to guides show you how to use and customize Galaxy S23, S23+, and S23 Ultra to meet your needs.
- Galaxy S23 camera guides. Galaxy S23 camera guides show you how to use Galaxy S23 camera features to shoot the best photos and videos with the top-notch camera system in Galaxy S23, S23+, and S23 Ultra.
- Galaxy S23 accessories guides. Galaxy S23 accessories guides explore useful Galaxy S23 accessories and show you how to use them to protect your phone or increase your productivity (or fun).
Besides, you can read and download (in PDF format) the official Galaxy S23 user manual.
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Enjoy your Galaxy S23!