Gesture Navigation Issues

Android 10 introduced gesture navigation, which allows you to swipe through your apps instead of using three buttons at the bottom. Most phone manufacturers (Samsung, Google, OnePlus) added support for third-party launchers, but not all.

Android 14 Beta: Homescreen does not appear when swiping home

If you are testing Android 14 Beta 1, you might notice that the swipe-to-home gesture is broken and does not immediately show the homescreen. This is a system issue affecting all third-party launchers, and we hope Google addresses this with Android Beta 2, which will likely roll out next week. In the meantime, we recommend switching to 3-button navigation.

If you encounter this issue, please upvote it on Google's issue tracker to bring it to their attention (you can find the +1 upvote button is on the top right): [Android 14 beta] Home screen content does not appear and return-to-home animation is broken on custom launchers.

I'm on Xiaomi’s MIUI, and gesture navigation isn’t available.

Xiaomi has fully integrated gesture navigation into their MIUI System Launcher with the MIUI 12/Android 11 update (source), and this prevents users of third-party launchers from enabling gesture navigation. If you want to use a third-party launcher with gesture navigation, you can contact Xiaomi and request that they bring it back. In the meantime, you can download these apps that provide a similar feel to gesture navigation on any Android version.

I can’t enable gesture navigation on Android 10.

On older Android 10 versions, gesture navigation is generally disabled for third-party launchers (like Niagara Launcher). We can't change this, unfortunately. In this case, you have to wait until you get a software update. However, you can download these apps to get a similar feel as gesture navigation on any Android version. Moreover, you could try the following ADB command to force it on, but it doesn't survive a device reboot: adb shell cmd overlay enable To revert it, use Use ADB commands at your own risk.

But Android states Niagara Launcher doesn’t support gestures, not the other way around.

The message you see above is misleading. It's your system that doesn't allow the launcher to use gestures. Other launcher developers are also writing about this:

This messaging makes it seem like the 3rd party launcher does not support gesture nav, when in fact it's Q's gesture nav that currently doesn't support 3rd party launchers. [Source]

The reality is Android disabled gesture navigation for third-party launchers on the first builds of Android 10 because the developer team struggled with lots of bugs:

Custom launchers are another area where we’ve heard feedback and we’re continuing to work on issues, particularly with stability and Recents. Starting in Beta 6, we’ll switch users to 3-button navigation when they are using a custom launcher by default. We’ll address the remaining issues in a post-launch update allowing all users to switch to gestural navigation. [Source]

In December 2019, Google released a patch that allows gesture navigation to work with third-party launchers. Your phone manufacturer needs to integrate this patch into their codebase.

Gesture animations are buggy/laggy

This is caused by the implementation of the system launcher. It also takes care of handling gesture navigation for third-party launchers. If the gestures are not working as expected, a device restart might already help. We have to wait for the Android team and OEMs to fix these gesture navigation issues, and we and other third-party launcher devs are trying as much as we can to support them by submitting bug reports to the official Android issue tracker. Please star the issues if they affect you as well:

Does Niagara Launcher support gesture animations?

Yes, but only if you have a recent Pixel or Samsung phone.

We cannot support app-open-animations (example). However, animating only from the icon when opening the app wouldn't make sense because most users launch an app by tapping on its name and not on its icon.

Android 11/12: The app close animation left an icon stuck on my screen.

This is a known bug that can happen when you tap anywhere on the home screen before the animation ends. The bug goes away after launching any app. We're currently investigating what's the root cause of that glitch.

Update: This bug was caused by the gesture animation API from Launcher3 and has been fixed with Android 13; see Issue #194427611.

Android’s recent apps screen behaves differently compared to the pre-installed launcher.

Gesture navigation and Android's recents screen (where you see all opened apps) are always controlled by a submodule of the pre-installed launcher, not by third-party launchers (like Niagara Launcher). As a result, gesture navigation may behave differently in combination with third-party launchers than with your preinstalled launcher because two apps are responsible for the home screen and navigation. You can read more in our dedicated article.

Does Niagara Launcher support Quick Switch?

Unfortunately not. Niagara Launcher isn't based on Launcher3 (the reference Launcher implementation in Android). Thus it would be very time-consuming to implement and would only work for a tiny part of the user base. That's why we decided against supporting it.

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