You might struggle to actually use the Google Pixel 3

Thinking about splashing out on the Google Pixel 3 or Google Pixel 3 XL? There’s something you should know about first.

With Android Pie, Google introduced Gesture Navigation, which replaces the usual trio of soft keys (home, back, recent apps) with one, centrally-placed, pill-shaped soft key.

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On most Android Pie phones, like the Google Pixel 2, you can switch between the old and new navigation options. However, on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, Gesture Navigation can’t be disabled.

What’s more, it appears that will be the case for more and more phones moving forwards.

“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,” MadebyGoogle told a Twitter user in the aftermath of the latest Pixel launch event.

With Gesture Navigation, you have to swipe up on the pill-shaped soft key to access recent apps. A back key will also appear and disappear, depending on what’s on-screen.

While these changes are pretty straightforward, this is a brand new way of interacting with your phone, and takes a little getting used to.

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What’s less easy to get your head round is split-screen. Previously, you could trigger it by tapping and holding the recent apps soft key.

With Gesture Navigation, however, you need to swipe up to the recent apps page, then tap the icon of the app you want to view in split-screen, and select Split Screen from the dropdown menu.

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