System control gestures in iOS and Android: which ones are easier, more intuitive, and clearer?

With the release of the iPhone X last year, Apple created a full-fledged new system navigation system without using physical buttons at all. Before that, some Android manufacturers had already experimented in this field, but after the move of the Cupertinos, they began to move in a more or less unified direction. The release of Android 9 Pie led to even greater standardization. Back in beta, it became known that there would be a lot of emphasis on gestures, and now it's time to compare the approaches of the two giants.

Home For iOS, the home screen has been a tradition since the first versions of the OS, while Android has long paid attention to the application menu. But now it also relies on the desktop as the central panel for working with a smartphone.

To return home from any app in iOS, you need to make a small swipe from the bottom of the screen, and on Android-tap on the central button. Although the latter gesture may seem intuitively simpler, the fact that the others focus more on swipes and scrolls, rather than single taps, makes Apple's approach more familiar. It's like you're swiping the app off the screen, which is pretty natural.

From the point of view of animation when collapsing the program, everything is subjective here. Someone will like the naturalistic hiding in the icon on iOS, someone will like the fade in the lower part.

The latest apps on both iOS and Android have suspiciously similar gestures for opening the latest apps section. In the first case, you need to pull from the bottom of the screen and hold your finger for an extra fraction of a second. After the vibration, the programs in the form of cards will appear on the screen, and the finger can be removed.

On Android for a long time there was a separate button for calling this section of the system. Now the same swipe from the bottom is used. The difficulty is that by making a little more movement, you will open the application menu. You'll have to get used to it. Clearly, Google's approach is less intuitive.

Quick app toggling Earlier in Android to go back to the previous program, you had to tap the recent programs button twice. Now the approach is different. You just need to make a horizontal swipe from the "Home" button to the right. If the gesture is repeated, the previous program will return. That is, switching occurs between two applications.

On iOS, the gesture is similar, but the principle of operation is different. By making a gesture to the right at the bottom of the screen, you will switch to the previous program. If you continue swiping, the programs that were active before will open. Swipe to the left, in turn, will take you back a step.

But on Android, it is also possible to access not one, but several programs. To do this, after the swipe, you need to hold your finger for a short time, and the screen will turn into a carousel of programs. It remains only to choose the right one.

For iOS, to return to the previous window, you either need to make a gesture from the left side of the screen, or use the button in the app itself — developers often add such.

On Android 9, nothing has changed compared to previous generations. One button to the left of the Home button is responsible for this.

Who has better gestures?It may seem that the approach initially promoted by Google, in which actions are performed using standard and immutable buttons, was simple and intuitive for everyone, but the trend to make screens larger and more informative clearly makes it clear that to occupy a whole series of individual buttons — a clear contradiction.

The fact that Apple has chosen a new way to interact with the system and the fact that Android has repeated it, suggests that it is the future.

While Android 9 Pie is just experimenting with gestures, Apple experimented with them at the testing stage of iOS 11, and now all users of the Cupertino OS have a clear understanding of how to work with the system. It doesn't seem intuitive at first glance, but all the gestures are created in a single key. And almost certainly for a few more years, the company will only develop and improve this system, and not come up with something new.

In the case of Android, it is not excluded that already in version Q there will be some other way of managing, or Google will change its approach altogether.