Android N May Herald Redesigned Android Navigation Buttons

The last time Google redesigned Android's navigation buttons was two years ago with the arrival of Lollipop


When Android N, which is currently under testing, becomes available later in the year, we are likely to witness one big change that Google had not yet revealed: redesigned navigation buttons.

According to Android Police‘s sources, the home button which is at the moment indicated by a small square in the latest Android builds, will get some facelift and instead feature some animation accentuated by Google’s primary colours – blue, red, yellow and green.

Google is said to be keeping the best for last with the changes likely to become visible in the final builds of Android N before its official release on new Nexus hardware.

Android N includes several improvements to the current version of Android, Marshmallow. However, if this is true, the new navigation buttons which can be seen below (as recreated by Android Police) could be one of the new version of the operating system’s most visible change.

What is not clear at the moment is whether the new navigation buttons will be universal or apply to just Google’s Nexus devices. At the moment, several device makers like Samsung go with their own solo implementations in order to support features Google has long discarded from its Nexus lineup like physical and capacitive keys while most still stick with Google’s vision.

The last time Google updated the navigation buttons was in 2014 with the arrival of Android Lollipop which replaced the simplified back, home and recent apps/task switcher soft button strip with one that had geometrical shapes – a triangle, circle and square.

The current standard Android navigation buttons
The current standard Android navigation buttons

Before that, the last redesign had happened 3 years earlier, in late 2011 with the release of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Android's standard navigation buttons pre-Lollipop (from ICS to Jelly Bean to KitKat)
Android’s standard navigation buttons pre-Lollipop (from ICS to Jelly Bean to KitKat)
Android's standard navigation buttons pre-ICS
Android’s standard navigation buttons pre-ICS

And this is what is supposedly coming…