The third developer beta of Android 12 has started rolling out, and among the changes that it brings is the ability to disable corner swipes for summoning the Google Assistant. For the unaware, Android 10 introduced the aforementioned gesture that allowed users to bring up Google Assistant windows by swiping inwards from the left or corner of the screen. This came in handy when users enabled gesture navigations and could no longer use the long-press-on-home button to fire up the assistant interface.
It was a cool addition back at that time and continues to be the go-to path for many, especially for those who miss the side-squeeze trick called Active Edge on older Pixel phones. However, not everybody was a fan of these corner-swipe gestures. Many users reported accidentally executing the command and bringing up the Google Assistant, especially on phones with thin bezels or curved edges.
With Android 12’s latest beta update (vSPB3.210618.013), Google will offer users a choice, thanks to a new toggle that allows them to enable or disable the corner-swipe gesture to launch the AI-assistant. Why Google didn’t bake this functionality from the get-go is puzzling, but it definitely feels good to see the company fixing this with the latest Android 12 update. On a similar note, Google has also decided to overhaul the whole widget scheme in Android 12, and the results definitely look pleasing.
Making Android Simpler, One Toggle At A Time
In order to disable the Google Assistant side-swipe gesture, open the Settings app and scroll down to find the System option. On the System page, tap on Gestures and open the System Navigation menu on the next page. Once there, tap on the gear icon adjacent to the Gesture navigation option. Doing so will open the Gesture Settings page where users will find the new ‘Swipe to invoke assistant’ option sitting at the top alongside a toggle to enable or disable it. In case the aforementioned steps sound a bit too much, take a look at the image above for the step-by-step guide with screenshots captured on a Google Pixel 4a. Thankfully, the white corner arcs for assisting with swipe gestures are still absent.
It must be noted here that the corner-swipe gesture for summoning Google Assistant is only accessible when gesture-based navigation has been enabled on a phone. Another advantage of the new toggle is that it makes things simpler for users. Android 12 introduces yet another method to launch the Google Assistant and this one requires long-pressing the power button. This new method sits alongside older mechanisms such as long-pressing the virtual home button, using the ‘Hey Google’ hot word, using the dedicated Google Assistant app, or using the trusty side squeeze feature on older Pixels. And, for folks who feel adventurous, downloading a third-party app that allows them to summon the assistant by a double-tap gesture on the phone’s rear panel will do the trick, just like its native counterpart on iPhones.