In Android update for Galaxy S9 and S9+, Samsung did not implement the stock Android Pie navigation gestures. Instead, they added their own new navigation gestures as one of the new features in the One UI.
This Galaxy S9 Android Pie update guide explains the details of the new navigation gestures in Android Pie update for Galaxy S9 and S9+, the difference between the Android Pie navigation gestures and the full-screen navigation gestures in Android Pie update for Galaxy S9 and S9+, and show you how to enable and use them.
Essentially, in stock Android Pie, if the navigation gestures are enabled, the Recents/Overview button will be removed. The back button appears only if it is needed. This creates a very clean UI with one Home button as explained in this page.
Of course, Samsung thought they have a better solution.
In the Android Pie update for Galaxy S9 and S9+, Samsung chooses to collapse the 3 navigation buttons into 3 lines on the bottom of the screen. You then just swipe up from these 3 lines to replace the function of pressing the buttons.
So, you will find the new navigation gestures in Android Pie update for Galaxy S9 and S9+ are substantially different from the Android Pie navigation gestures.
The major differences between Android Pie navigation gestures and the new navigation gestures in Android Pie update for Galaxy S9 and S9+ include:
- In the stock Android Pie, all navigation gestures are based on the home button. In Android Pie update for Galaxy S9 and S9+, there are 3 lines for the gestures.
- In the stock Android Pie, you have 5 touch screen gestures for the home button: press (tap), long press (long tap), swipe upwards, slow swipe upwards (or double swipe upwards), swipe to the right, swipe to the right and hold. But in Galaxy S9 and S9+, swipe upwards is the only gesture for the right and left lines. The line in the middle accepts only swipe up and long press.
- In the stock Android Pie, you can directly switch to the most recent app by swiping to the right side. If you swipe to the right side and hold, you can select from recently closed apps and re-open it. Android Pie update for Galaxy S9 and S9+ do not have this option.
Anyway, Samsung’s implementation may be good for new users who are still trying to figure out Back and Recents (Overview) buttons. It apparently makes the usable screen larger.
But for experienced users, the stock Android Pie gestures are probably more useful.
Please note, with the new navigation gestures in the Android Pie update for Galaxy S9 and S9+, Samsung removed two of the popular navigation bar features:
- The background color customization option. You cannot customize the background color for the navigation bar after updating Galaxy S9 or S9+ to Android Pie.
- The show/hide navigation button option. You cannot hide the navigation buttons.
By default, the new navigation gestures in Android Pie update for Galaxy S9 and S9+ are not enabled.
You need to enable it manually after updating the phone to Android Pie.
As shown in the screenshot below, in the Settings page, tap Display.
In the Display settings, tap Navigation bar as shown above.
In the navigation bar settings, you can find two options under navigation type:
- Navigation buttons.
- Full-screen gestures.
If the option of navigation buttons is enabled, you can see the 3 buttons as shown in the screenshot below. Please note, the graphic design of the navigation buttons was updated. The button with 3 vertical lines is the new Recents button.
Tap the switch for full-screen gestures to turn on gesture navigation as shown below.
Once the navigation gestures are enabled, as shown above, you can find the 3 buttons turn into 3 lines.
At any time, you can disable the navigation gestures and revert to navigation buttons.
Please note if you turn off auto-rotate and holding the phone in landscape orientation, you may also see the rotation toggle button in the navigation bar for about 3-5 seconds. You can use the button to change and lock the screen orientation as explained in this guide.
As mentioned, the new navigation gestures in Android Pie update for Galaxy S9 and S9+ are very simple.
- Swiping up from the lines equals tapping the corresponding buttons. For example, if you swipe from the line on the left side, you essentially tap the left button, which by default is Recents/Overview button if you did not change the button order. If you want to go back to the Galaxy S9 home screen, you need to swipe up from the line in the middle.
- Press and hold the middle line to open Google Assistant.
When using the navigation gestures, you cannot visually identify the back and recents/overview buttons. You need to check the button layout if you forget whether you customize the button layout.
No, you cannot hide the navigation buttons after updating the Galaxy S9 or S9+ to Android Pie.
Samsung removed the option in the One UI (which is for all Samsung devices with Android Pie).
Of course, you cannot hide the lines when you enable the navigation gestures.
You can use this navigation bar button to turn on the navigation bar, and therefore turn off navigation gestures.
For example, as shown in the first screenshot below, the navigation bar is on and you can find the navigation buttons.
In the second screenshot below, the navigation bar is turned off and therefore you get the 3 lines on the bottom and you have to use navigation gestures.
So, the navigation bar button in Galaxy S9 quick settings lets you quickly switch between using navigation buttons and using navigation gestures on-the-fly.
Can you use the new navigation gestures in Android Pie update for Galaxy S9 and S9+ now? Do you know how to enable and disable the new navigation gestures in Android Pie update for Galaxy S9 and S9+?
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For the user guide for new features of Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, please check Galaxy S9 new features guides page.
For using Galaxy S9 and S9+, please check Galaxy S9 how-to guides page.
For using Galaxy S9 camera, please check Galaxy S9 camera guides page.
For accessories for Galaxy S9 and S9+, please check Galaxy S9 accessories guides page.
For official Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ user manuals in your language, you may check this page (if your Galaxy S9 or S(+ is running Android Oreo), or this page (if your Galaxy S9 and S9+ have got the Android Pie update).
Detailed how-to guides for new features of Android Pie update for Galaxy S9 and S9+ be found on this page.