Test the predictive back gesture of Android 13 with the Pixel Phone app

With Android 13, Google Work started on a predictive background gesture to “allow users to preview the destination or other result of the return gesture before it’s fully completed”, and you can now preview it using the Phone app on the Pixel.

First you need to enable developer options (Settings > About phone > tap on Build Number – located at the bottom – seven times). Once you’re done, use the Settings search to find Predictive Background Animation and enable this toggle.

Next, make sure that the Google Phone app and/or part of it is up to date beta channel. We see predictive back-gesture support live on version 90.0.x.

Each time you use the back (to exit) gesture while in one of the main views/tabs (Favorites, Recents, Contacts, Voicemail), the application window will shrink and you will see your home screen in addition to the usual back arrow. The window animation used here is great, and this works on the left and right edges of the screen.

That’s the extent of this feature, and it’s meant to let people “decide whether to continue or stay on the current offer”. For example, it prevents accidental app closings while you are doing a task and can be useful in stopping accidental app closings.

Google is calling the predictive rollback gesture a “multi-year release” as it won’t be enabled by default until Android 14 (API level 34), with only Pixel’s Phone app supported among first-party apps. Preview is supposed to motivate developer support, We hope to have widespread adoption in about a year’s time.

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