Android 7.1 Nougat Tip: Master New Move Gestures

Posted on October 24, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 9 Comments

Android 7.1 Nougat Tip: Master New Gestures

The latest version of Google’s mobile platform supports some new “move” gestures that will make it easier than ever to get to key features. Here’s a quick rundown.

Note: As always with Android 7.1 Nougat, the trouble here is understanding which features are specific to Google’s new Pixel phones and which will work elsewhere. But I’ve tested these features with both the new Pixel XL and the Nexus 6P running a Developer Preview version of this system, and can note the differences.

Google has loosely supports various gestures in Android previous to version 7.1, but with this version, it seems to be consolidating and formalizing the functionality. That said, what you see in the new interface for managing these gestures will vary by device.

To manage gestures, open Settings and navigate to Moves, which can be found in the System section.

On the Google Pixel XL, you’re treated to a pleasant graphical interface.


On the older Google Nexus 6P—and, presumably, on other phones—you get a more standard Settings interface.


Regardless, the options are basically the same. They include:

Swipe for notifications. Available only on Google Pixel smartphones, when enabled, this option lets you check your notifications by swiping down on the fingerprint sensor on the back of the device. It works as you’d expect, and supports both partial and full notification displays, and you can swipe back up to hide the notification shade. Of course, if you need to interact with a notification, you’ll need to tap on the front of the phone normally.

Jump to Camera. When enabled, this option lets you double-press the hardware Power button to display the default camera app. It works from any screen, including the lock screen. But it also works when the device is sleeping, so it’s a nice replacement for a hardware Camera button too.

Flip camera. This somewhat awkward gesture lets you switch between the back- and the front-mounted cameras while in the Camera app. When enabled, you can “double-twist” the handset to make the switch. It’s almost always easier to just tap the on-screen button that just does the same thing.

Lift to check phone. This feature, which is not available on the new Pixel smartphones, enables the Ambient display feature—-which is available on the new Pixels—when you pick up the phone, so that you can see whatever notifications are currently pending. On the Pixel, the Ambient display feature will kick in automatically when notifications arrive, but if you want to view them later, you will need to turn on the display.

The Pixel smartphones support ambient display, but not the "lift to check phone" gesture.

The Pixel smartphones support Ambient display, but not the “lift to check phone” gesture.

A new Moves menu in settings includes a number of toggle actions you can initiate by gesture. You can launch the camera by pressing the power button twice, for instance, or switch in and out of selfie mode by double-twisting your wrist when you are in the app. And you can lift your phone to quickly check your notifications.


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