On Friday, our APK Insight of Google app 7.26 revealed a lot more about smart displays and upcoming Home functionality, like email Personal Results. On the phone side, we’ve since been able to activate a new “Material Design 2” look and several in-development features.
About APK Insight: In this ‘APK Insight’ post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.
Material Design 2-inspired look
Following the Android P Developer Preview in March and as we head into I/O 2018, there has been a lot of discussion over Google’s future design direction. In recent weeks, we’ve seen a rounded search bar in several Google products from desktop and mobile Chrome to Search on the web to Maps.
The Google app for Android is now the latest app to test it on the Feed and Search results page. Clearly a trend, its borders are rather light with no shadow effect as there is on the current design. Meanwhile, the bar floats and persists as you scroll through the Feed.
This design is still very much in early testing from our usage, but note the very thick borders that result in narrower cards, as well as the greater top and bottom spacing between them. Additionally, the shadows are quite stark and likely will get toned down before release.
Heading to the “More” tab in the Google Feed reveals the “Customize Widget” shortcut that we previously discussed, as well as a new one for “Personal Search.” At the moment, the latter view can be quickly accessed through an app shortcut.
In Search results, the rounded bar is again present, and as a result the Search categories are now a separate carousel underneath.
Pixel Launcher Feed
On the Pixel Launcher’s Google Feed, background blurring is significantly increased, resulting in a very stark and glass-like appearance. The thicker border remains, while full-width header images are rounded at the top. This results in an interesting double rounded corner effect with the rest of the card. This particular design detail is new for Google.
In Assistant settings, “Stocks” are now present under the Services list, while there is a new “Reservations” menu. We speculated last week that Google Assistant was possibly adding some sort of built-in feature or this functionality could be for third-party integrations.
Speaking of Assistant, we again see the speech bubble-less design that we noted before, while Explore picks up a new compass icon that replaces the shopping bag.
Dylan contributed to this article