Companies that want to keep Android Pie’s navigation gestures can do so for updates on existing devices, but it appears that new devices won’t have that fallback.
We’ve asked Google for comment. If this is accurate, it puts some Android hardware creators in a tough position. Brands like Huawei, OnePlus and others frequently advertise their custom gestures as stand-out features. The new policy would effectively negate those customizations. That could provide a more consistent user experience between devices, but it could also diminish variety in Android devices and give you less reason to pick one phone over another.