Google Introduces Predictive Back Gesture in Gmail for Android 14

What you should know


  • Google’s Predictive Back feature on Android 14 shows a preview of the page an Android user is going back to, addressing the issue of users accidentally exiting apps.
  • The Predictive Back gesture allows users to see one of three possible destinations before completing the gesture: a previous page in the same app, a previous app, or the home screen.
  • To activate the Predictive Back gesture, users must slowly swipe from the edge of the screen, revealing an arrow inside a circle indicating the direction of the navigation.
  • As of now, the Predictive Back feature has been implemented in Gmail and Google Calendar, with expectations for broader adoption across system and third-party apps in the future.


Full Story

Oh, Google was cooking up something pretty neat for Android 14. They planned to roll out this thing called the Predictive Back feature across the whole system. Imagine, just by using a back gesture, you could sneak a peek at the page you’re about to jump back to. Pretty slick, right?

This was a big deal for those coding wizards, the app developers. Why? Well, it turns out that a bunch of times, folks using Android would swipe back and—oops!—they didn’t mean to exit the app. Just like that, they’re out, and the poor app gets a thumbs-down. Developers? Not thrilled, to say the least.

So, here’s the scoop on how it works. The predictive back gesture gives you a little preview of where you’re gonna land if you go back. You’ve got three spots you might end up: the last page you were on in the app, another app you were using, or smack dab on the home screen. To make the magic happen, you swipe left from the right side of your screen. Keep going until you see this left-facing arrow chilling in a circle. Let go, and bam—you’re back where you were. And, for a bit of symmetry, swiping right from the left does the trick too.

Now, onto the juicy part. Google’s been dragging its feet a bit with getting predictive back into Android 14. You gotta dive into the Settings, then Developer options, and flick on Predictive back animations. But hey, 9to5 Google caught a glimpse of it in action in Gmail. You’re closing an email, and as you start to swipe back, the email does this cool shrinky thing and shows rounded corners. Plus, you get a tiny preview of where you’re headed next. And it’s not just Gmail; Google Calendar’s got it too, both in the monthly overview and the day view.

Fingers crossed, we’re all hoping this feature pops up in more system apps. Google’s nudging third-party app developers to jump on the bandwagon. So, who knows? Maybe soon, swiping back without a clue where you’ll end up will be a thing of the past for most Android apps. Wouldn’t that be something?

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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