Android 12 brings with it a renewed focus on widgets as part of letting users better customize their devices to reflect them. As we first reported last night, Google Photos is working on a “Your memories” widget for Android. 

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 case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

This Android homescreen widget will let you “Rediscover moments from Google Photos.” The preview we saw yesterday showed a portrait-sized photo with a time increment “This week” and when it occurred “1 year ago.” It’s fairly reminiscent of the Memories carousel at the top of the Google Photos and existing nostalgia-fueling notifications it sends out.

We’ve since enabled the widget and find the homescreen item to be quite tall and rather narrow in its default 2×2 view. In comparison, Google uses a perfect square shape on iPhone and iPad. It’s suited for portrait images, while the example we have today has the date (including year) centered at the bottom.

You can adjust the size of the Google Photos widget on Android, and you can see it span the width of the display. The portrait photo, however, looks quite odd in this example. Lastly, the widget can take up the entire homescreen. 

If the iOS version is any guide, the widget can be used to highlight what appears in the Memories carousel, like recent trips and thematic albums. It’s unclear when the Google Photos Android widget will launch.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article

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Abner Li

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