Android M was announced today, which was the most exciting part to users that don’t develop software. While they focused on 6 parts on how this update would bring the “most polished Android release to date”, there are some details that were left out at the conference and that have been discovered by installing the Developer Preview version of the OS. Among those changes, there seem to be big ones where all of the installed apps are to be found, the new App Drawer.
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In the first versions of Android and up to Gingerbread, the App Drawer was integrated by 4 columns of icons that could be scrolled vertically to see the rest of the apps, with the later versions even having some cool 3D effects that went along with the scrolling. Ice Cream Sandwich came along, with one of the biggest overhauls the OS has ever received and the App Drawer now was scrollable horizontally with a new 3D effect that seemed to create panels of the 20 apps that were visible on the black background, it pretty much stayed the same in Jelly Bean. In KitKat, bigger icons were used and the background now was transparent, so you could see the apps in front of the wallpaper chosen for the Home Screen.
Lollipop was another significant change to the OS, bringing a new design language that included brighter colors and new animations. With it, the App Drawer got a solid white background to make it look like a card that floats in front of the wallpaper. The new App Drawer in Android M seems to follow that idea but it now has 4 icons of the most frequently used apps, which remain to be seen if they would be chosen by the OS or if the user would be able to choose the ones that stay in the upper part of the screen. The other big change is that apps will be ordered alphabetically and will be scrolled vertically again, with the scroll bar on the right letting users to scroll even faster. This time, only 3 columns of icons will be available and since the apps are grouped by letter there will be letters with just one or two apps wasting some space. It is also unknown if users will be able to change some of these settings or if this is how it will look from now on.