With Google Now renamed to a more generic “feed” in recent updates, it appeared that Google wanted to avoid confusion with the upcoming Assistant. However, Now might not entirely be overshadowed as a new widget that shows notifications under the search bar is currently being A/B tested.
Screenshots from Reddit user navjot94 show a new Widget section in the Settings of the Google app. Enabling it shows “commute, weather, and local information in the Google widget.” Specifically, information that would normally trigger a notification now shows up just underneath the search bar on the homescreen.
For instance, weather alerts include exactly the same icon and text that usually appear in the notification shade. Like a notification, users have the ability to tap in order to see more or dismiss it. The text underneath the search bar likely pushes down app icons and other widgets on the homescreen.
With people receiving more and more notifications, information appearing right on the homescreen is a useful method to make sure people see important, time sensitive information. This widget is likely being A/B tested among a very small group of people as using the beta version of the Google app does not guarantee its appearance.
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