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Pixel Launcher to add swipe gesture to pull-down notifications ahead of Pixel 4

Google’s Pixel Launcher isn’t too heavy on features, but those it does include are very useful in your daily life. Today, we’re seeing that in Android Q Beta 5, Google will be adding a new gesture to swipe down on the Pixel Launcher homescreen to pull down the notifications tray.

One user with an early build of Android Q Beta 5 tipped off the folks over at XDA-Developers to this change, which is apparently going to show up in the coming beta release. When on the Pixel Launcher, a swipe down on any portion of the homescreen triggers the notification panel to drop down. It’s a pretty simple feature, but certainly one that’s going to be appreciated by Pixel owners.

Of course, this isn’t a feature we’ve never seen before. Third-party launchers such as Nova Launcher, Lawnchair, and many others have long supported this handy feature. Some OEMs too such as OnePlus have also adopted it. Notably in Google’s case, though, this feature actually looks like it will track your finger, meaning the tray will drop instantly and smoothly.

However, in Google’s case, it’s fairly clear that this is related to the Pixel 4. That device is confirmed to ditch the rear-facing fingerprint sensor Google has used since the original, which in turn will kill off the popular swipe gesture to pull down the notifications that the sensor enabled. While this new Pixel Launcher gesture won’t act as a system-wide replacement, it’s a welcome change that will ease the loss of that feature. If it turns out that it’s not related, the timing is still highly suspect.

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