How to get gesture navigation on any Android phone?

Ever since iPhone X is out, gesture-based navigation has become a mainstream thing with various Android-based OS. Whether it’s Xiaomi or OnePlus, most Android OEMs have got their version of gesture-based navigation. Recently with Android Pie, the stock Android has also got the taste of this new gesture navigation format. However, if you are someone who is still living with a phone that is using regular button-based navigation, then you have landed at the right place.

Fluid Navigation Gesture (Beta) is the app that can fulfill all your wishes. It’s an unreleased app on Google’s Play store, which means it’s still in beta. But you can try it on your device without any issues, so let’s begin.

Pre-requisite for enabling gesture navigation on any Android phone:

  • Fluid Navigation Gesture (Beta) app from PlayStore.
  • An Android device with Android 5.0+ (Lollipop & above)
  • A computer with ADB drivers installed to hide software navigation keys. (You can skip this on a rooted device)
  • Basic knowledge of using command prompt for some magic.

[Use 15 Seconds ADB Installer tool from XDA-Forums to install ADB drivers on your Windows computer]

Steps to enable gesture-based navigation on any Android Phone:

1- Open the Fluid Navigation Gesture (Beta) app & then tap on the ‘Enable‘ toggle. To enable gestures, you need to give Draw over other apps & Accessibility permission to this app. Give those permissions carefully & then proceed to the next step.

gesture navigation android 1

2- Now you have to hide the navigation bar of your device so that you can use those navigation gestures without any hindrance. If your device is rooted, then simply tap on ‘GRANT WITH ROOT ACCESS‘ & allow root access to continue using gestures-based navigation.

gesture navigation android 2

3- If your device isn’t rooted then you have to grant permission via ADB. For this, first of all, enable USB debugging from ‘Developer Options‘ inside the Settings app. After enabling USB debugging connect your phone to your PC. (By default, Developer Options are hidden. Go to ‘Settings‘>>’About Phone‘ & Tap 7 times on ‘Build number’ to un-hide it)

4- Now on the PC, open the command prompt in administrator mode & type this command to confirm whether your PC can detect your device in ADB mode or not.

adb devices

If it does, then type the following command to give final permission to the app.

adb shell pm grant com.fb.fluid android.permission.WRITE_SECURE_SETTINGS

navigation gesture android 3

5- You will now be able to ‘Hide Navigation Bar‘ & use gestures to navigate around the UI without any issues.

Note: Gestures-based navigation has a learning curve. It might take some time to get used to each & every gesture. However, if you still feel that your old navigation keys were better, then properly disable the gestures & enable your navigation keys before uninstalling the app.

Customizations – Fluid Navigation Gesture app:

The free version of the app is very much sufficient & offers users a variety of customizations. You can change the default behavior of each gesture, adjust the sensitivity & size of the trigger, and choose whether you want vibrations while navigating using gestures. But if you want to support the development of this app & enable themes with an option to add additional gestures, then you can Unlock Pro Version. (via in-app purchase)gesture navigation android 4

The way this app works can pretty much replace the default navigation buttons, which makes it feel like a part of your smartphone’s OS. We hope the developers continue to support more devices with a stable release in the future.

What do you think about these gesture navigations? Are they any better than the traditional navigation keys? Do let us know via a comment.

Good day.


About the author

Anubhav Bhatnagar
Anubhav Bhatnagar
Your friendly neighbor who likes to spend most of his time learning and sharing what he has learned with everyone. A nerd who loves observing, exploring, and critiquing. He fancies good design, and it trying to find his way somewhere in between minimalism and essentialism. You can connect with him @AnooBav on all social platforms.


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