While various forms of gestures were implemented sparsely across several OEMs, it was only with the onset of the Apple iPhone X that the mode of navigation gained traction and eventually became mainstream.

Soon after, several Android OEMs rushed to add the new navigation system to their software skins. Google was a tad late to the party though and only added gesture support to AOSP with Android 10.


Gesture mode’s advantages over the good old reliable 3-button navbar may be debatable but there’s no denying that people are switching over to it fast.

However, several old-time custom launcher fans have held back as they bump into several hindrances due to a major flaw with Google’s implementation of gestures. They just do not work well with third-party launchers.

A range of issues arise when trying to navigate like broken app opening/closing animations, recent panel problems, and an unresponsive homescreen for a short time upon heading over to it via a swipe-up.

Google has made it very clear that they have no plans to completely fix gesture-related issues any time in the near or even distant feature.

Sadly, most of these problems cannot be bypassed because Google didn’t make an API for third-party launchers to inject themselves into the recents UI. Doing this requires root privileges and that is something that can’t be granted with ease.


But there does appear to be an API for allowing a proper implementation of app opening/closing animations, at least on Pixel devices, and the developers of Nova Launcher seized it.

Come forth to the latest beta version 7.0.12 of Nova Launcher that now supports fancy gesture animations that play upon opening as well as when closing apps. The launcher may very well be the first among the competition with such an implementation.

As you can see in the above video, windows sort of hover in/out of their app icon now.

These new transitions aren’t too different from the ones offered on various system launchers and do look pretty cool, to be honest. Prior to this, almost all launchers defaulted to the old app opening/closing animations introduced with Android Lollipop.

The only downside to the entire thing is the fact that it only works well on Google Pixels and Pixel-based custom ROMs as the closing app animation was found to be still broken on other devices.

Nova Launcher’s changelog mentions the latest changes

For now, it is unclear if this drawback is even addressable but we sure hope that it is. If interested, you may give the new update a try by heading over to this link.

Alternatively, you may also download it from the Nova Launcher official discord server.

And oh, in case you missed it, these new changes are a part of the Nova Launcher’s shift from Launcher2 to Launcher3. With this rewrite, Nova should be able to adopt new features more quickly. Additionally, you get the version bump from Nova Launcher 6 to 7.

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, MacRumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Zohaib Ahmed
824 Posts

Simply love being surrounded by technology as it's a constant reminder of how far humans have advanced as a race. Every new development feels exciting, which I convey to others through writing. And after a day's work, gaming just feels therapeutic.

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