Android constantly evolves, making the operating system prettier and easier to use than what went before. The second quarterly platform release (QPR2) for Android 13 is now in beta, and we are seeing a bunch of new tweaks and features like new media player animations, partial screen recording capability, and a new Material You theme called Monochromatic. The first beta also reveals visual changes for the back navigation gesture.
Esper senior editor Mishaal Rahman notes that swiping in from the edge of the screen to trigger the back navigation shows off a cool new visual indicator. A circular surround for the back arrow indicator themed to match predominant colors in your wallpaper is seen, thanks to dynamic theming. This new visual design isn’t accessible to everyone, though. If you’re running the beta, you'd have to dig up the hidden flag to be able to turn it on for yourself.
Make sure you don’t confuse this slight visual change with the predictive back gesture coming in Android 14, that’s also available on Android 13 as an option for developers. Rahman speculates Google could combine Android 14’s predictive back navigation feature with the new circular visual indicator we are seeing in Android 13 QPR2 Beta 1 to make for an overall fresh-feeling user experience.
You may not see this new back navigation indicator because of the challenges associated with enabling it. However, there are a lot of other cool bits to look forward to in the latest QPR Beta, like the fixed vulnerabilities with ARM Mali GPUs for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 series.