Open Bug 755123 (nav-gestures) Opened 8 years ago Updated Last year

Investigate and implement swipe gestures for browser navigation


(Firefox for Android :: General, defect, P5)





(Reporter: jslater, Unassigned)


(Blocks 2 open bugs)


(Whiteboard: [Engagement][creative])

Admittedly this is more of a feature request than a bug (I think), but am filing anyway just in case it helps.

When I have multiple tabs open in Fennec and click the little number icon in the upper right to view them, it displays the open tabs as thumbnails over the current page. This part is great, but whenever I try to close this open tabs menu (or whatever it's actually called) I find myself trying to swipe it closed with an upward gesture.

This is behavior I probably learned from the notifications bar on iOS, but it felt a bit clunky when I wasn't able to do it here. Took me a few seconds to realize I had to then re-select the tab I had been viewing previously to get back to it (vs just swiping the overlay closed).
Duplicate of this bug: 786615
Duplicate of this bug: 824911
+1 for bug 824911

Can we support swipe backward and forward? 

Recently, we received a lot of complains on the current backward and forward behavior. 
The forward button is not easy to find, user need to go to settings and then click on Forward button to forward to next web page.
Ian, is gesture support something on the radar? Should this track?
Flags: needinfo?(ibarlow)
Duplicate of this bug: 920211
Renaming this for browser navigation
Alias: nav-gestures
Summary: request for certain swipe gestures in Fennec → Investigate and implement swipe gestures for browser navigation
Firefox for Android should allow to switch between open tabs by swiping from the left/right edge into the display.  Similar like Google's Chrome for Android.
(In reply to Carlos F from comment #7)
> Firefox for Android should allow to switch between open tabs by swiping from
> the left/right edge into the display.  Similar like Google's Chrome for
> Android.

I agree. That's one of my favorite gestures, one that I find greatly improves usability. I miss it whenever I use Firefox.

In recent Chrome Betas, Google has apparently changed the gesture so that it will only be triggered when swiping across the navigation bar. Personally, I've never been bothered by the current Chrome implementation which triggers when swiping from the edge of the screen, and think moving it to the navigation bar could be problematic given the auto-hide feature, though I admit that I have yet to test the feature in Chrome Beta.
Implementing the gesture in the navigation bar would probably be more useful with an option to always show the navigation bar. One possible benefit of implementing the tab switch gesture to the navigation bar would be that it would allow you to use the edge swipe gesture to trigger Quick Controls, a feature of the stock Android browser yet to be implemented in Chrome (or Firefox). Quick Controls are triggered with the same gesture, which is perhaps why Google has yet to bring them from the stock browser to Chrome. An explanation of Quick Controls is here:
Triggering only with a two-or-more finger swipe would also avoid problems with horizontal scrolling, or leave single-finger swiping available for something like Quick Controls.
A list of initial gesture-based actions to try can be found here:

I believe we already have a working prototype of the "pull on title bar to reveal tabs", but we would still need to work on tab switching and back/forward.
Flags: needinfo?(ibarlow)
See also: Bug 476425
Blocks: 808591
Hardware: ARM → All
Depends on: 969799
No longer depends on: 969799
Blocks: 1093113
I had a discussion on IRC with a user, that said it would be nice to have this feature implemented (swipe left/right should behave like back/forward buttons).
Leaving this comment to see if there is any progress on this.
IRC user here.

I don't think I like the idea of swiping from the edge to change tabs, because I think this gesture would be more useful for going back in history (swipe from left, as Safari for iOS does) or opening the menu (swipe from right; there are apps that do this when you swipe from left).

Length of swipe could determine different actions (short swipe: back/next; half screen swipe: tab list / menu, or history/menu; full screen swipe: close tab / new tab); however this might be too complicated to use. 

Finally, I like the idea of two finger swipes; it could be useful for both switching between tabs and moving in history, depending on the horizontal/vertical direction.  It could also be combined with edge swipe for a greater number of gestures. 

(Plus I vote against gestures involving more than 2 fingers because some devices only detect up to 2 fingers, and with some devices I mean my own phone)
I also like the idea of dragging the URL bar left/right/down for either tab switching or history navigating (maybe tab switching, and leave edge swipe for history)
Re-triaging per

Needinfo :susheel if you think this bug should be re-triaged.
Priority: -- → P5
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