Android and Me

Rumor: Google planning complete overhaul of home screen, notifications and more

5 months ago 16

According to a massive rumor report out of Android Police today, Google is experimenting with a complete overhaul of the Android home screen, notifications, multitasking and Google Now experience. Rumors like this have been floating around for some time now, but today marks the first time we get such an in-depth look at exactly what Google may be planning.

As Android Police states, all of this information is subject to change. Even today there seem to be reports that there’s still a lot of experimenting going on. With that in mind, here’s a quick rundown on what Google’s working on:

  • There’s a new navigation bar with a back, Google and multitasking button
  • Multitasking is going to be front-and-center
  • You can swipe down on the action bar of any app to enter multitasking
  • Open apps would appear as a stack of cards, not thumbnails
  • Gestures are everywhere
  • Google is experimenting with getting rid of the app drawer for an iOS style approach…
  • …but there would still be a “hotseat” to pin apps (also identical to iOS)
  • Widgets could be gone, or moved to a dedicated widget page
  • Notification shade will take on a Google Now look, with two sections for important and less important notifications
  • Google Now, instead of being to the left of your home screen, would be below
  • “OK, Google Now” works everywhere

As you can see, Google has big plans for the future of Android. It’s worth noting that these changes may be specific to the Google Now launcher. Would could mean even bigger things. Perhaps more interesting than this specific rumor itself is how it fits into the big picture.

If something like this were to come true, in the form of a Google Now launcher update, and the Android Silver rumors were to come true, we could see an entirely different approach to how the public views Android. Consumers would be able to walk into carrier stores and see a spread of devices from different manufacturers running the latest Google Now launcher, Google Camera, etc. They’d all feature the same experience across different hardware with prominent Google branding everywhere.

With how frequent these rumors are popping up now, we’d be shocked if Google didn’t have something to show at I/O this year. This could be one of the more exciting conferences in a long time.